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Intel Processor Prototype Promises 41% Efficiency Gains

IntelDemoIntel’s research labs have demonstrated a low-voltage resilient microprocessor that shows as much as a 41 percent improvement in throughput using the same amount of energy as a comparable conventional core, reports Network World.

According to an Intel blog, the processor automatically adapts its power-performance point to achieve the best throughput at minimum energy. The technology promises major gains in energy efficiency and performance under wide dynamic operating conditions depending on usage, according to the blog. A video is available on the blog page about the new prototype.

Keith Bowman, a researcher at Intel’s Circuit Research Laboratories told Network World that if the design were applied to commercial processors under ideal conditions it would deliver better than guaranteed throughput.

And under less than ideal conditions such as power dips, temperature changes and aging transistors, the design would optimize performance and deliver guaranteed throughput more efficiently than conventional core architectures, reports Network World.

The Intel prototype core includes adaptive circuits that eliminate guardbands, which are used in today’s microprocessor cores to provide reserve cycles that ensure that the devices meet the specified lifecycle and throughput even in worst case scenarios where there are fluctuations in voltage and temperature, reports Network World.

The chips work by detecting errors caused by the voltage, temperature and aging factors and correct for them on the fly without requiring reserve cycles, reports Network World. Bowman said in the article that this results in either maximized throughput or minimized energy requirements that in either case exceed the performance of conventional processors.

Although the technology is not available for commercial applications, Intel has unveiled several new energy-efficient processors, including the Core i7 and Core i5 processors, which can intelligently decide when to save energy.

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