01:15 PM

Intel Discusses Advanced Microprocessors That Save 5x Energy

At the Intel Developer Forum, Justin Rattner, Chief Technology Officer, presented a keynote on advanced microprocessors with 50 or more cores and able to run on tiny amounts of electric power.

The chips would be able to switch off large chunks of its circuits, conserving power yet still remaining on.

Intel describes what it calls a Near-Threshold Voltage Processor:

...using novel, ultra-low voltage circuits that dramatically reduce energy consumption by operating close to threshold, or turn-on voltage, of the transistors. This concept CPU runs fast when needed but drops power to below 10 milliwatts when its workload is light -- low enough to keep running while powered only by a solar cell the size of a postage stamp.

The research will be incorporated into future Intel chips and help address a big data center problem: high levels of energy consumption.

Mr Rattner also discussed a new form of memory called the Hybrid Memory Cube (photo below), which consists of DRAM chips stacked together and controlled by a new type of interface that can reduce power use seven-fold while allowing data rates of more than one trillion per second.

Intel also announced that it has released Parallel Javascript engine into the open software community. This takes advantage of multi-core microprocessors by splitting highly compute intensive tasks into parallel work loads. It will enable browser based applications such as photo and video editing.

More information here.