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Home > Hardware Reviews > PC Parts

Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Intel Core 2 Duo

1. Introduction

In April of 2005, Intel announced the Intel Pentium processor Extreme Edition, featuring an Intel dual-core processor, which boosted multitasking computing power and improved the throughput of multithreaded applications.

An Intel dual-core processor consists of two complete execution cores in one physical processor, both running at the same frequency. Both cores share the same packaging and the same interface with the chipset/memory. Imagine that a dual-core processor is like a four-lane highway - it can handle up to twice as many cars as its two-lane predecessor without making each car drive twice as fast. Similarly, with an Intel dual-core processor-based PC, people can perform multiple tasks such as downloading music and gaming simultaneously. Overall it offers a way of delivering more capabilities while balancing energy-efficient performance, and is the first step in the multi-core processor future.

- Core 2 Duo

Core 2 is a ninth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor produced by Intel and it was officially released on July 27, 2006. The Core 2 brand is subdivided into Duo (dual-core) and Extreme (high-end) models, with a possible Solo (single-core), and a confirmed -upcoming- Quad (quad-core), in early 2007.

Unlike NetBurst-based processors (Pentium 4/D), Core 2 does not stress designs based on extremely high clock speeds but rather improvements on other CPU features, including cache efficiency and number of cores. The power consumption is only 65 W, making Core 2 the lowest power consumption desktop chip currently on sale.

Intel Core 2 processors feature x86-64, Virtualization Technology, Execute Disable Bit, and SSSE3. The release also introduced LaGrande Technology, Enhanced SpeedStep Technology, and Active Management Technology (iAMT2).

Feature

Benefit

Latest 3rd generation Intel dual-core processing

Unrivaled performance.

Two independent processor cores in one physical package, up to 4 MB of shared L2 cache and up to a 1066 MHz Front Side Bus for desktop PCs and up to 667 MHz Front Side Bus for laptop PCs.

Intel Intelligent Power Capability

Excellent energy optimization delivering more energy-efficient performance.

A set of capabilities designed to reduce power consumption. Manages the runtime power consumption of all the processor's execution cores.

Intel Wide Dynamic Execution

Do more at once.

Improving execution speed and efficiency while delivering more instructions per clock cycle. Each core can complete up to four full instructions simultaneously.

Intel Smart Memory Access

A PC that won't slow you down.

Newly designed, optimized functions for reducing wait time, keep the pipeline full improving instruction throughput and performance.

Intel Advanced Smart Cache

Access the programs and files you need faster.

The shared L2 cache is allocated to each processor core based on workload up to the full amount of total cache. This is more efficient than today's dual-core processor. Sharing the cache significantly reduces the time needed to retrieve frequently used data improving performance.

Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost

Entertainment that rocks.

128-bit Streaming SIMD Extensions (SSE) instructions are issued one per clock cycle doubling their speed of execution over previous generation processors. This benefits a broad range of applications including video, audio, and more with improved performance.

Intel 64

Serious access to system resources.

Enables the processor to access larger amounts of virtual and physical memory.

Execute Disable Bit²

Hackers, viruses, and malware-rejected.

Provides enhanced virus protection when deployed with a supported operating system preventing certain viruses from infecting the system.

- Future

Besides the currently offered Core2Duo series, Intel has plans for the near future, that are very interesting, to say the least. Intel will deliver a quad-core (4 full execution cores) processor to the DP server segment, based on Intel Core micro-architecture, code-named "Clovertown." Clovertown is targeted for introduction in the fourth quarter of 2006, for the Bensley and Glidewell platforms. For the MP server segment, Intel is also developing an MP server processor optimized for quad core, based on Intel Core micro-architecture, code-named "Tigerton." The Tigerton processor is targeted for introduction in 2007 and will work within the Caneland server platform.

Intel will also deliver a quad-core (4 full execution cores) processor for high-end desktops, based on this new micro-architecture, code-named "Kentsfield." Kentsfield is targeted for introduction in the first quarter of 2007.




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