We've got two items to update you all on, let's first start with some more information about Intel's next-generation microprocessor architecture.

Memory Disambiguation

There's a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to Intel's next-generation micro-architectures, but Intel is saving quite a bit of that for the Spring 2006 IDF. One feature that they did quietly introduce was something they call Memory Disambiguation, which we referred to in our previous article on the topic as speculative data loads.

We got a slightly better grasp on the feature, and it basically works like this:

Normally when an Out of Order microprocessor re-orders instructions, it cannot reschedule loads ahead of stores because it does not know if there are any dependencies it would be violating.

Intel's memory disambiguation technology is essentially speculative loading, where based on some algorithms the processor evaluates whether or not a load can be executed ahead of a store, if it can then the load instructions can be rescheduled to further optimize for the highest possible instruction level parallelism. If the speculative load ends up being valid, then business is as usual, otherwise the result must be thrown away and the load executed after the store is complete.

Intel couldn't provide us with more information on the speculative loading, in particular the accuracy of its speculative algorithms, but we would assume that they would be highly accurate if this technology will be used in mobile processors. Anything speculative has the potential to be a waste of power if not done with the highest accuracy.

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  • JarredWalton - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    Transcoding. It's one thing to play back a movie (and HD content is going to really struggle on a Celeron 2.0 GHz); to convert from say MPEG2 to MPEG4 on the fly is something else entirely. What formats are supported is anyone's guess right now, but anyone that has done DivX, Xvid, or WMV9 encoding can attest to the fact that it requires a speedy CPU to function properly. Reply
  • joex444 - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    If I read this article right, the transcoding is done through Windows MCE's own transcoder. Actually, if VIIV PC were attached to an HDTV, it wouldn't have to transcode since it could just decode it there. What it would need to transcode for is if there is an external box that sits in the living room and the VIIV PC is out back sending the external box what it needs to display the content on the HDTV. Well, in that case, with the gigabit NIC required in VIIV, why can't they just decode it on the VIIV PC, and send the uncompressed video to the external box? At 1280x720 24fps (23.976 if you prefer), that's roughly 510Mbits/sec [63.3MB/sec], and it is constant. From what I've seen of gigabit switches, they can handle that in practice (often going upwards of 800Mbits/sec). A review on another website of a Netgear GS108 showed without jumbo frames it gets 550Mbits/sec constant, and when increased it can get 750Mbits/sec average, with it not dropping below 700; another setting averages 600-650 with it dropping to 480 -- that setting wouldn't be acceptable. Reply
  • tanekaha - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    Intel and microsoft started together.
    If ya want all of this media centre goodness ya gotta have intel and microsoft.
    With their marketing and installed base this is bad for the competition.
    I suspect heavy DRM also
    just my 0.2
  • ElFenix - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    so motherboard makers will put truly crappy components onto the board, save the OEM $0.05 per computer, and then consumers will play them on their plastic $150 5.1 audio systems from wally world, never knowing what they are missing out on and assuming that the hissing they hear means that they have a high power system. Reply
  • Calin - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    If you really really want high quality from that kind of devices, you should use the digital (SPDIF) output to feed your audio system.
    It won't be cheap, as just the digital entries for audio systems tend to look like a $100 hike in price (that might come from other directions also, but by their description, almost all the audio systems have the same 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response and the same unbelievably high power)
  • dwalton - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    Anybody who really cares about high quality sound, will put in the research needed to make sure any prospective VIIV certified system has quality components.

    Anybody who would buy a crappy VIIV and audio system and would think they were really listening to a high quality system would probably be stepping up from an already crappier system.
  • jamesbond007 - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    The 'Instant On/Off' bit is kind of misleading. One would think that by the terms selected, the machine would be entirely on or off. I think they would be smarter to call it some sort of 'PowerSaver' feature instead. Reply
  • Marsumane - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    With their luck people will be using "instant off" then unplugging their machine thinking it is safe to move or do whatever they planned on doing by cutting the machine's power. Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Tuesday, August 30, 2005 - link

    Yes, I expect many many people will press the 'Instant Off' button, then unplug it. Fortunately Windows is fairly tolerant of being suddenly powered down these days, but do it too often and you're sure to run into trouble sooner or later. Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    Instant On/off?? I guess the only advantage is for lazy people who don't want to press the button to turn off the monitor, but wants to still turn it off(I know it doesn't make sense). I hoped it would actually turn off, kinda like post-hibernation mode. Reply

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