At Intel's recent Developer Forum conference in Beijing, the company revealed it's working on mobile quad-core processing. Slated for release in 2008, Intel's quad-core mobile processor is aimed at high-level gaming and mobile computers. Intel laptop users will trade battery life for more performance. But even though there will be a market for the Intel's mobile quad-core chip from gamers and those doing video editing, this processor won't appear in standard notebooks for some time.
"You'll see it at the high-end, but I don't see it running so fast into the mainstream because I don't believe there will be enough threaded applications that will justify the trade-offs," says Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile platform group.
Multithreaded applications allow several parts of software code to be executed simultaneously, taking advantage of multiple processing cores.
The quad-core mobile chip will likely differ in some way from Intel's current desktop and server quad-core chips, which strap together two dual-core dies inside a single-chip package. In PC Advisor's tests of desktop quad-core PCs, performance is mixed. But as computer users do increasing numbers of memory-hungry tasks simultaneously, the benefits of quad-core will start to be seen.
Meanwhile, the next version of Intel's Centrino notebook platform, code-named Santa Rosa, hit the market last month. Compared with Centrino, Santa Rosa offers several improvements, including dynamic acceleration, which raises the clock speed of one processor core above the guaranteed frequency level when the other core has powered down.
Read PC Advisor's review of Acer's Aspire 5920 Intel Santa Rosa Laptop here. This raises the performance of the remaining core, while keeping the processor operating within the thermal limits envisioned by Intel engineers. This differentiates Dynamic Acceleration from overclocking, where users raise the frequency of a processor beyond the intended level.