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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  • mlittl3 - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    Guys, the instant off feature is not a power saving feature in my opinion. It's so you don't have glaring LEDs lighting up your living room when you have company over for a cup of tea. Everyone complains about bright blue, orange, green, whatever in their living room distracting people from the room's fen shui - ness.

    However, the article says that the drivers must support instant-off. This sounds like different hardware components power down when not in use. Now that is an energy saver if that's what it means.
  • dwalton - 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."

    Why did the article concentrate on the "off" part of the "Instant On/Off" feature. I would rather know how "instant" is the "On" feature.
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    The on feature works the same way as the off feature, it is truly instant, it just turns the monitor and LEDs back on. Remember, since nothing really turns off, turning it back on is just as quick.

    Take care,
  • Zirconium - Thursday, August 25, 2005 - link

    In the article, you say, "Eventually if you left the system untouched it would power down." Once it powers down, does it not start up instantly? Or does Intel/Microsoft have another trick up its sleave?
  • jm20 - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    I doubt it would even save power. Turning off the monitor and LED lights will have minimal impact on power saving, except if you have a CRT.
  • ElFenix - Wednesday, August 24, 2005 - link

    big LCDs use up quite a bit of power, about as much as a mid-size CRT.

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