Intel targets future MID market with power-conscious Moorestown

  • San Francisco (CA) - Intel has confirmed that its next-generation Moorestown processor will utilize platform power management (PPM) technology to facilitate a 50x reduction in idle power compared to current Atom-based devices. According to Intel CTO Justin Rattner, PPM represents a "fundamentally new approach" and introduces "changes to silicon" that allows hardware to play a major role in the reduction of power consumption.

    Rattner explained that Moorestown-based hardware implements policies determined by the OS to manage power "in much less time" and at much "finer granularity." For example, the system will be capable of automatically reducing power and shutting down idle components - such as wireless radios or I/O subsystems - and instantly powering back up with "zero" impact to the user.

    Rattner made his comments during a keynote speech given in honor of Intel Day at the Computer History Museum. The CTO also discussed a number of ongoing research projects that were subsequently showcased, including:

    Science Sim

    Science Sim is designed to connect multiple and disparate virtual worlds. The platform - powered by OpenSimulator - is currently used for scientific collaboration, visualization and education. A project rep told TG Daily that OpenSimulator has allowed researchers to successfully test scripts, conduct simulations and even experiment with "live" plant models that "react" to soil conditions and cloud cover.

    Ray Tracing

    The updated version of Quake Wars: Ray Traced features enhanced support for dynamic objects, polygonal water simulation and over 500 "monsters." The demo - shown on a stereoscopic 3D display - managed to achieve an astonishing 16 frames per second at a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. The system powering this impressive demonstration? Nothing less than a workstation: 2x Intel Xeon W5580, Nehalem EP, running at 3.2 GHz.

    VoIP on Wimax

    Intel showcased a refined version of Group Scheduling, a technology that increases the capacity if VoIP in 802.16m, next-generation WiMAX networks. The current prototype reduces MAP overhead to achieve significant capacity gains, which allows for a larger number of VoIP calls in next-gen WiMAX networks. The prototype also includes three WiMAX CPE devices - each capable of supporting multiple simultaneous VoIP flows.


    An Intel rep told TG Daily that group scheduling coupled with MAP overhead reduction can result in up a 40 percent increase in VoIP capacity. This figure is expected to eclipse current peak data rates by by 10x.

    Router Bricks

    Router Bricks allow networks to be constructed from general-purpose computers rather than specialized equipment. The company's current prototype "builds" a high-speed router from clusters of the Intel-based servers running open-source software. An Intel rep explained that future network programmers could cheaply and rapidly program new router functions using a general purpose computer as their platform.

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