Intel today announced new details of its forthcoming Santa Rosa PC platform, including a significant revision of the Core 2 Duo chip.
"We call this processor Core 2 Duo but really it's Core 2 Duo on steroids. This microprocessor is going to be more powerful than the previous generation," said Intel's mobility chief, Mooly Eden.
The new chips will be able to overclock one of the cores if the other core is not being used.
"The idea is the following," explained Eden. "If you are running a single threaded application, one of the cores can go to sleep, and the left over power can be used by the other core – we give it a turbo boost; the ability to run faster than it used to.
"This is not overclocking. Overclocking is when you take a chip and increase its clock speed and run it out of spec. This is not out of spec. Here, it is within the spec of the dual-cores, we just identify when one core is not using the headroom and we give it to the other core.
"This is called Enhanced Dynamic Acceleration Technology. We've had problems implementing it, but we've been able to do it in Santa Rosa," Eden said.
The Santa Rosa platform also includes draft 802.11n for "whole house" high definition video streaming and Intel Turbo Memory – the flash cache memory that was previously codenamed "Robson". Intel demonstrated it in use showing two identical machines – one with Turbo Memory and one without – and the latter took twice as long to complete a photo processing task.
The Intel 965 graphics chipset is able to run Vista's Aero interface smoothly, though it will not support DirectX10 upon initial release – Intel has more work to do to implement it in the drivers.
"I'll make a claim and I'd like people to prove me that I am wrong: Centrino Pro technology is the best machine to run Vista," Eden said as a challenge to tech journalists attending Intel Developer Conference Beijing.
Eden said Santa Rosa would be available before the end of June – and refreshed in the first half of 2008 with the Penrin processor, Intel's upcoming 45nm processor.
Intel roadmap: to Santa Rosa and beyond!Intel roadmap: to Santa Rosa and beyond!
Eden conceded that Santa Rosa would not include the previously promised Nokia 3G module, because less than 10% of notebook users would ultimately buy it with their laptop.
"I believe I am the one to blame – I got on this stage and announced Intel would deliver a 3G solution with Nokia. I believe it is already announced that Nokia and Intel is not going to deliver it simply because of lack of return on investment. But there are people creating 3G solutions, but with a single digit attach rate, it is not worth it for us."