Alder Lake is the high performance Formula 1 hybrid race car we built for IT: Intel
Intel Alder Lake processors are coming soon with rumors hinting at a November 4 launch. The Santa Clara, California-based chipmaker has been promoting the chip for some time now, especially its “hybrid” architecture. The idea is to offer a combination of performance (codenamed Golden Cove) and efficiency (Gracemont) of x86 cores, instead of simple powerful next-gen processor cores, for a mix of power when needed. and efficiency during less demanding tasks. Intel has already unveiled a full line of chips from 9W to 125W that would use the new hybrid model, meaning Alder Lake is much more ambitious than last year’s Lakefield chip.
As it should be, because the competition is only getting stronger. Intel isn’t the only company taking the hybrid route for lean computing. Arm’s big.LITTLE and DynamicIQ technologies have been around for over a decade. They serve as models for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips that power the majority of Android smartphones on the market today and Apple’s A-series chips for iPhone. Perhaps even more relevant to this comparison, Cupertino’s M1 chip for Mac has just received a big refresh with M1 Pro and M1 Max, both of which feature eight high-performance, over-efficient cores.
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Needless to say, a lot will depend on how Intel’s Alder Lake chips turn out when they start shipping this year – desktops first, followed by mobiles. Financial Express Online sat down with Intel’s Prakash Mallya to understand some of the key points of Alder Lake, its importance to the business in times of increasing competition and the larger situation of the semiconductor industry, that is ie the global shortage of chips and when I tend. Extracts.
EF | Tell us about Alder Lake, its feature set and improvements over the last generation.
Prakash Mallya | Look, this is a fantastic product. It is a mixture of powerful and efficient cores. The Efficient Core is a highly scalable x86 microarchitecture to meet compute requirements across the spectrum of our customers’ needs, from low-power mobile applications to multi-core microservices. It was designed for throughput, enabling scalable multithreaded performance for modern multitasking. Compared to Skylake, the Efficient core offers 40% more performance at equal power, or the same performance while consuming less than 40% of the power.
When you look at the performance core, this x86 core is not only the highest performing processor core ever built by Intel, but it also offers a step function in the performance of the processor architecture that will lead the next one. decade of calculation. It was designed for the speed, low latency, and performance of single-threaded applications.
This high-performance hybrid approach is further enhanced by Intel Thread Director, a technology engineered in Alder Lake that helps the operating system make smarter, more informed decisions about the location of running threads. It uses real-world hardware telemetry to guide operating systems to the right workload, which can be guided to the right hearts at the right time. Thread Director is fully dynamic, adaptive, and autonomous from a static, deterministic, and software-only approach.
EF | How does your hybrid model compare to the competition and what are some of its advantages?
Prakash Mallya | Our Alder Lake design approach begins with delivering incredible performance that ranges from ultra-portable laptops to hobbyist and commercial desktops. We are introducing two completely new microarchitectures for Alder Lake and both are high performance in themselves and complement each other. The conventional “hybrid” approach today in the industry is often focused on getting the most hours of use from a battery, which often requires a trade-off between performance and efficiency. energetic.
A good analogy is to think of conventional hybrid cars that focus on getting maximum miles on a tank of gas compared to Formula 1 racing cars that use hybrid technology to achieve maximum performance. detonate them when cornering with acceleration. Alder Lake is the high performance hybrid we designed for IT.
It will be Intel’s first processor based on the Intel 7 process and will serve as the foundation for leading desktop and mobile processors that deliver smarter, faster, and more efficient computing in the real world in a variety of form factors. . It will start shipping this year and we said the desktop will be mobile tracked. We’ll have more details to share later.
I will say however, when people have said that PCs are a mature category, in my opinion PC innovation is at its highest level that I have ever seen. I have been with the company for 21 years and am constantly impressed with the amount of innovation brought together on PC and Alder Lake is a prime example.
EF | What will its use case be? Is there a category that will “specifically” benefit from these new chips?
Prakash Mallya | Due to the hybrid nature of the platform, it meets a variety of needs and all of those needs are critical. You can say that a need is commercial applications. If you’re building a business laptop or business desktop, you need great performance, great battery life, great screen quality, and a flexible design. . Can Alder Lake do this? Yes he can. Likewise, for consumer or commercial desktops, this can be a game-changer, as the performance threshold has a big impact on the performance of any application. I cannot say that one segment will be better served than the other. Alder Lake will dramatically change the way people think of PC computing.
EF | What is Thread Director’s role in all of this?
Prakash Mallya | One of the main reasons for Intel’s success over the past 52 years is the level of software innovation we do with the ecosystem. We don’t do it alone. A lot of the technology that we built on Centrino that was wireless was power management and we brought the elements of that together with industry. Ultrabooks were the evolution we did a few years ago that again had different elements, one of them was software and then design, form factor, and screen elements. When you look again today, the activation that we do on software on all platforms – not just at Alder Lake – people have a seamless experience on Intel x86 platforms for this reason. Now, I’m going to tell you specifically about Thread Director, since it is a hybrid architecture and is dynamic in nature, its flexibility being able to run multithreaded, single-threaded on a dynamic basis, Because of the telemetry that happens dynamically, it is very powerful and the kind of work we will do with the software ecosystem and continue in the future will have a big impact on the experience we make for consumers, owners. company, players or others.
EF | How crucial is software to improving the capabilities of silicon?
Prakash Mallya | OpenVINO as a cutting edge AI inference track is a great example of what software can do to really open up functionality and drive value for people building cutting edge inference-based applications. It is a software toolkit. The type of work we do on the network, whether it’s the software stack we’ve built and the benchmark platforms we’ve built, that enables telecom service providers or solution providers in the telecommunications space to bring to life the feature sets that are built into silicon, be it the N SKUs, which are the Xeon SKUs, which when combined with the software really accelerate the charging performance of the device. network work. Software work happens in every part of our architecture and with Intel Innovation what our CEO Pat Gelsinger is signaling to the industry is that software is going to be hugely important. The software is going to be very important and hardware for the strategy of the company.
EF | What is Intel’s position on the current global semiconductor shortage? How are you doing, what are you doing to speed up manufacturing and when will this crisis end?
Prakash Mallya | Technology has never been more important than it is today. Lockdowns and work-from-home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic have dramatically increased the need for laptops, game consoles, IoT devices and more. This has caused an explosive growth in semiconductors that has strained the global supply chain. It will take a few years to address the shortages of foundry capacity, substrates and components.
We are actively working with our supply chain partners to increase the availability of third-party materials and components to further improve the performance of our processors and to support the broader PC ecosystem. We have increased our capacity to meet demand and as a result we plan to increase our annual double-digit client processor supply year over year compared to 2020.
We are expanding our advanced chip manufacturing capability by investing $ 20 billion in two plants in Arizona. We plan to expand our presence in the United States and Europe to ensure a sustainable and secure semiconductor supply chain for the world. We remain focused on supporting our customers and will continue to work to increase the offer to meet their needs.
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