updated 12:45 am EDT, Thu April 6, 2006
Intel\'s Core architecture
Ars Technica has posted an in-depth, technical look at Intel's new Core architecture, which is the heart of Apple's Intel Core Duo processors. "Intel's approach to multicore is not about keeping each individual core's on-die footprint down by throwing out dynamic execution hardware, but about keeping each core's power consumption down and its efficiency up. In this sense, Intel's strategy is fundamentally process-based, which is why I said it's "very 'Intel.'" Intel will rely not on the microarchitectural equivalent of a crash diet, but on Moore's Law to enable more cores to fit onto each die. It seems that from Intel's perspective, there's no need to start throwing hardware overboard in order to keep the core's size down, because core sizes will shrink as transistor sizes shrink."
The report also notes that Core is designed to take advantage of Moore's Law in a fundamentally different way than the Pentium 4: "The Pentium 4's performance was designed to scale primarily with clockspeed increases. In contrast, Core's performance will scale primarily with increases in the number of cores per die (i.e. feature size shrinks) and with the addition of more cache, and secondarily with modest, periodic clockspeed increases."