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Intel 2013 Haswell CPUs Will Support the AVX2 Instruction Set
Intel has recently confirmed that its upcoming Haswell CPU architecture will support the AVX2 instruction set which is designed to improve processor performance in integer-heavy computational applications.
The announcement was made public on the company's Software Network forum by Mark Buxton, senior software engineer at Intel.
Together with this news, Intel has also posted a document online, called Advanced Vector Extensions Programming Reference, which explains the new instruction set.
“AVX2 extends Intel AVX by promoting most of the 128-bit SIMD integer instructions with 256-bit numeric processing capabilities. AVX2 instructions follow the same programming model as AVX instructions.”
“In addition, AVX2 provide enhanced functionalities for broadcast/permute operations on data elements, vector shift instructions with variable-shift count per data element, and instructions to fetch non-contiguous data elements from memory,” reads the document.
Outside of AVX2, Haswell will also include a hardware RNG (random number generator), which can be used to generate cryptographic keys for data encryption, bit manipulation instructions, FPMA (floating point multiple accumulate) and others.
Haswell is the code name used by Intel for Ivy Bridge's successor and this is expected to be launched in 2013, but we do know that Haswell will be built using the 22nm Tri-Gate fabrication technology.
Recent reports have also unveiled that Intel is expecting Haswell to deliver impressive graphics performance over the current-generation processors with graphics engine based on Denlow architecture will support such new features as DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 3.2+ and so on, while the CPU will also feature a configurable TDP technology.
The processors that belong to the Haswell generation will continue to rely on dual-channel DDR3/DDR3L memory controller with DDR power gating support to trim idle power consumption. The chip will have three PCI Express 3.0 controllers, Intel Turbo Boost technology with further improvements, power aware interrupt routing for power/performance optimizations and other improvements.
What is important is that Haswell-generation chips will sport new form-factors, including LGA 1150 for desktops as well as rPGA and BGA for laptops.
Intel Claremont will be ultra-low solar-powered CPU
Codenamed Claremont, the CPU is an old Socket 7 Pentium design but has been modified to operate at a peak power consumption of less than 10mW. This is ultra-low on the ultra-low scale. Current ultra-low voltage CPUs use 15W or more.
Intel managed this by using a technique to apply voltage to a silicon chip called Near Threshold Voltage. This is based on the idea that processors have plenty of voltage to ensure that the transistors within switch with no trouble. However if you cut the applied voltage to be just above the required level.
Intel didn’t have any motherboards lying around to use, so it had to search eBay to build the Asus P/I-P55TZP4 which it demoed the chip on. The boards had to be modified to allow for the ultra-low voltages.
Intel 22nm Ivy Bridge CPU
While most of the processor focus at Intel Developer Forum concerned the Q1 2011 release of Sandy Bridge, Intel is already well along in developing its next platform of chips. Dubbed Ivy Bridge, these will be manufactured using a 22nm process compared to Sandy Bridge’s 32nm fabrication process.
Ivy Bridge (IVB) is the first chip to use Intel's 22nm tri-gate transistors, which will help scale frequency and reduce power consumption. As we already mentioned, mobile Ivy Bridge will be the first Intel CPU to bring four cores into a 35W TDP. At a high level Ivy Bridge looks a lot like Sandy Bridge. It's still a monolithic die that features an integrated GPU. The entire die is built at 22nm, continuing Intel's march towards truly addressing integrated graphics performance. Ivy Bridge won't get rid of the need for a discrete GPU but, like Sandy Bridge, it is a step in the right direction.
Ivy Bridge is backwards compatible with existing LGA-1155 motherboards, although there will be a new chipset for Ivy Bridge and new motherboards to enable some features (e.g. PCI Express 3.0, native USB 3.0). The new chipset family falls under the 7-series banner. We'll see Z77, Z75, H77, Q77, Q75 and B75 available at or around launch. The desktop platform around this new CPU is called Maho Bay and the chipset that will power it is Panther Point PCH. The notebook iteration is called Chief River. Ivy Bridge finally supports USB 3.0 natively. The consumer 7-series chipsets feature 14 total USB ports, 4 of which are USB 3.0 capable. The CPU itself features 16 PCIe (1x16, 2x8 or 1x8 + 2x4) gen 3 lanes to be used for graphics and/or high performance IO. You will only see Gen 3 speeds on qualified motherboards. It's technically possible on 6-series motherboards but guaranteed on 7-series motherboards. The Z77 and H77 chipsets will support Intel's Smart Response Technology (SRT, aka SSD caching) which is a Z68 exclusive today. SATA and chipset-attached PCIe slots haven't changed. Overclocking is supported on all Z-chipsets, while the H-chipset doesn't. All chipsets support Intel's HD Graphics, which is a departure from the Sandy Bridge mess where P67 didn't.
If you think that 32nm Sandy Bridge has much better graphics core than current Intel graphics solutions, you should get really excited about the next generation 22nm architecture codenamed Ivy Bridge. Not only does Ivy Bridge pack graphics that can cope with DirectX 11 specification it also has more executing units or EUs. Nvidia calls them Shaders or graphics processors while Intel still prefers the acronym EU.
Ivy Bridge's GT2 configuration has 16 EUs, no word on how many the GT1 configuration will have. As a result Intel is expecting a 60% increase in 3DMark Vantage scores (Performance Preset) and a 30% increase in 3DMark '06 scores. IVB GT1 on the other hand will only see performance increase by 10 - 20%. If we look at the 3DMark Vantage data from our Llano notebook review, a 60% increase in performance over SNB would put Ivy Bridge's GPU performance around that of AMD's A8. It remains to be seen how well this translates into actual gaming performance though.
The other information about Ivy Bridge's GPU has been known for a while: DX11, OpenCL 1.1 and OpenGL 3.1 will all be supported. The last tidbit we have is that Quick Sync performance is apparently much improved. Intel is privately claiming up to 2x better performance than Sandy Bridge in accelerated video transcoding or lesser gains but improved image quality. The performance improvements only apply to GT2 IVB configurations.The revamp will support resolutions in excess of 4K (topping out at a maximum of 4,096 x 4,096) -- a sizable jump from the WQXGA (2,560 x 1,600) limitation of it's Sandy Bridge's forebearer -- opening the door to all sorts of resolution independent goodness.
DirectX 11 support will definitely be a powerful marketing tool, but many know that gaming on Intel is not something that you can recommend to many. However it will let you play some basic games at acceptable eye candy rates. Intel claims it will be enough for mainstream gaming on a broad range of titles and native DirectX 11 support.
Intel plans further enhancements in multimedia parts of graphics in order to make decoding and encoding of DVD and Blu-ray content faster, as the company expects that many will want to burn or share this HD content. The graphics is still a part of CPU and it is a DMI chipset and has FDI support. Last time we checked FDI standard for Flexible Display Interface, something that enables you two or more display outs.
Ivy Bridge desktop variants will only launch with quad-cores and the launch is scheduled for March to April 2012, so it's still a year away. Intel promises better battery life and new and more impressive ULV platforms coming. Intel now claims that the new CPU and its integrated graphics can process media up to 4X faster. Intel calls this Quick Sync Video and some internal testing revealed that it can be significantly faster in creating and editing of your home videos. DirectX 11 graphics also found their way to the Ivy Bridge and Chief River platform and graphics performance should get much better. Intel also hints at RST caching that can deliver “SSD performance at a lower cost”. Let’s not forget USB 3.0 support. This is how a new notebook should look in early 2012.
Let's hope that Fusion with the new Bulldozer core won't come much later, but unfortunately only in 32nm or 28nm. If Intel continues with this speed, you might be able even to run Crysis 4 on Intel's Integrated by 2015, of course not with all details cranked up.
If you are planning to buy a new cpu for long terms (3-5 years), go for high performance, power-optimized Intel 32nm Core microarchitecture 2nd Generation Core i3-2000-series, Core i5-2000-series & Core i7-2000-series processors lineup.
All these processors work best & support new operating system - Microsoft Windows 7 SP1/8, Apple Mac OSX 10.7 Lion & Open Source Linux new kernel 3.2, all added advantage for both 32 & 64-bit platform and virtualization technology.
SuperSpeed USB 3.0
Intel Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, NEC Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, HP and Texas Instruments Incorporated have formed the USB 3.0 Promoter Group to create a superspeed personal USB interconnect that can deliver over 10 times the speed of today's connection. The technology will target fast sync-and-go transfer applications in the PC, consumer and mobile segments that are necessary as digital media become ubiquitous and file sizes increase up to and beyond 25 Gigabytes.
USB (Universal Serial Bus) 3.0 will create a backward-compatible standard with the same ease-of-use and plug and play capabilities of previous USB technologies. Targeting over 10x performance increase, the technology will draw from the same architecture of wired USB. In addition, the USB 3.0 specification will be optimized for low power and improved protocol efficiency. USB 3.0 ports and cabling will be designed to enable backward compatibility as well as future-proofing for optical capabilities.
The new standard for USB (Universal Serial Bus) 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, has released the specifications for its next major upgrade. USB 3.0 is meant to surpass its current predecessor USB 2.0, which supports up to 480 Mbps data transfer. The USB 3.0 will support speeds up to 4.8 Gbps, roughly 10 times faster than USB 2.0.
The new standard is expected to be more power-efficient over its predecessor. Your old devices will not be garbage just yet, since USB 3.0 will be fully backwards compatible with your old devices, supporting USB 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0.
The switch over from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0 on your hardware will hopefully take place late in 2009, where media devices will be the first to see the upgrade in things such as, external hard drives, flash drives, digital cameras, and personal media players.
Bluetooth 4 ready, devices expected later this year
Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) unveiled additional information on Tuesday about the forthcoming Bluetooth 4.0 specification due out end of Q2 2010 (summer time).
Bluetooth 4 is nearly ready and with it the focus is on battery life, energy efficiency and more devices. Bluetooth 4 combines three specifications in one: classic Bluetooth wireless; high speed Bluetooth; and the new Bluetooth low energy. SIG believes that sensors like pedometers and glucose meters will run on the low energy spec and could potentially run for weeks without needing to be recharged.
Bluetooth 4 also improves the range of reach for the technology. Classic Bluetooth only offers 10M (30ft) of range but with 4.0 devices will be capable of 60M (200ft). The full Bluetooth 4 spec is expected to be completed before June 30, 2010. Bluetooth 4 devices are expected to hit the market in late 2010/early 2011.
The new generation of graphics card that support DirectX® 11 and High Definition (HD) is now available from both Nvidia and AMD (ATI). DirectX® 11 is exclusive built-in for Microsoft® Windows® 7 and 10.1 only available in Service Pack 1&2 (SP1/SP2) of Windows® Vista™. Note that Windows® Vista™ can update to DirectX® 11 but Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) with DirectX® 9.0c will not update to DirectX® 10 or 11.
DirectX® 11, the next generation of graphics technology, arrives with Windows 7. This is great news for players as many of the newest Windows games will take full advantage of this technology to create more immersive and detailed worlds and experiences. Game developers will utilize new features to create rich worlds, realistic characters, and more fluid gameplay.
DirectX 11 features include:
Tessellation – Tessellation is implemented on the GPU to calculate a smoother curved surface resulting in more graphically detailed images, including more lifelike characters in the gaming worlds that you explore.
Multi-Threading – The ability to scale across multi-core CPUs will enable developers to take greater advantage of the power within multi-core CPUs. This results in faster framerates for games, while still supporting the increased visual detailing.
DirectCompute – Developers can utilize the power of discrete graphics cards to accelerate both gaming and non-gaming applications. This improves graphics, while also enabling players to accelerate everyday tasks, like video editing, on their Windows 7 PC.
While Windows 7 is fully compatible with games and hardware that use older versions of DirectX, the new DirectX 11 features are available with a DirectX 11 compatible graphics card and games designed to take advantage of this new technology.
These cards enhance the stunning Windows Aero™ user interface with a powerful performance upgrade from integrated graphics. All of the cards come with at least 128MB of dedicated DDR2 RAM require by Windows Vista.
Intel® as a leader in integrated graphics release a number of integrated graphics while AMD also release some:
Desktop Intel® Core™ i7-3 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000)
Desktop Intel® Core™ i5-3 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 2500)
Mobile Intel® Core™ i7-3 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000)
Mobile Intel® Core™ i5-3 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000)
Desktop Intel® Core™ i5-2 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 3000)
Desktop Intel® Core™ i3-2 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics 2000)
Desktop Intel® Core™ i5 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics)
Desktop Intel® Core™ i3 processor (integrated Intel HD Graphics)
Desktop AMD® A4-3300 /A4-3400 APU (AMD Radeon™ HD 6410D)
Desktop AMD® 890GX Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 4290)
Desktop AMD® 880G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 4250)
Desktop AMD® 790GX Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 3300)
Desktop AMD® 785G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 4200)
Desktop AMD® 780G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 3200)
Desktop AMD® M780G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 3200)
Desktop AMD® 780V Chipset (ATI Radeon™ 3100)
Desktop AMD® 780G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ HD 3200)
Desktop AMD® 760G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ 3000)
Desktop AMD® 740G Chipset (ATI Radeon™ 2100)
Intel® Fast Memory Access & Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology 4.0(DVMT) allows for up to 1.7GB shared memory being allocated to the graphics engine. This provides more memory for intensive applications for maximum system performance.
If you are planning to buy a new graphics accelerator for long terms (3-5 years), go for AMD® (ATI) Radeon™ HD 6000-series lineup which support new PCI Express® 2.1, DirectX® 11, Shader Model 5.0, OpenGL 4.2, OpenCL 1.1 & DirectCompute 11 in Microsoft Windows 7. With at least 512MB of GDDR3 ram, real 3D gaming experience and playing HD contents is in your control.
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