Intel modern processor technologies

Intel processors use many different technologies that affect chip performance. They serve different purposes and help the processor in different situations. In this article, we will help you understand the technology of Intel processors, which may help you in choosing a chip from this company.

Introduction

This article will cover only the most basic technologies used in Intel processors that have the most impact on their performance and which are well known in use. It should be noted that chips will not be considered here until 2009, since those chips are outdated at the moment and only the most powerful solutions of that time are of value.

We all know that different technologies are used in different lines of processors, it also depends on the positioning of the model and its price. You can see the availability of the main technologies in the Intel processor lines in this article. There is no server chips, but rest assured that they are technologically advanced enough. And if you are interested in learning about integrated graphics from Intel, we have a separate article for that. You can read about AMD technologies here.

You may ask: “How do I know about the presence of certain technologies in my processor ?. To do this, go here and find the processor you need. After that, look for these fields.

Turbo Boost

This technology allows you to automatically increase the processor clock speed above the nominal (self-overclocking), which allows you to increase the chip’s performance for a while.

This is mainly used to improve performance in single-threaded applications or poorly optimized for multithreading, where the performance of one core is more important than their number. In this case, the load is removed in other cores and the released power goes to some cores. In another case, this technology simply allows you to temporarily raise the performance of the chip by increasing the clock frequency.

The value of this self-acceleration depends on many factors:

  • Workload type
  • Number of active cores
  • Estimation of current consumption
  • Power consumption estimation
  • CPU temperature

Turbo Boost 1.0 technology was used in the Nehalem and Westmere processors. Then a slightly improved version of Turbo Boost 2.0 was applied. All the differences look like this.

Differences between versions Feature 1.0 version 2.0 version

Multiplier step 133 MHz 100 MHz
TDP does not exceed for a short time exceeds

It is also worth noting a smoother increase in the overclocking value with a decrease in the number of active cores in version 2.0. The second version in the first few seconds after a long idle time increases the clock speed higher than it should be for a normal TDP, but because of the non-instantaneous heating of the chip, this is not critical. Then the overclocking drops to a level not exceeding the TDP level. A similar algorithm can be seen in NVIDA GPU Boost 2.0, which can be found here.

Mobile processors such as Intel Core M.

Interesting fact: the Intel Core m7-6Y75 model has a maximum Turbo Boost from 1.2 GHz to 3.1 GHz!

Hyper-Threading

Or in another way, hyper-threading. Because of this technology, the operating system defines one physical core as two logical ones and issues commands accordingly. It so happens that one core works in 2 threads. Hyper-threading allows thus loading idle processor blocks and increasing its efficiency.

It should be noted that two logical cores are inferior to two physical ones, which clearly demonstrates the superiority of the Core i5 (4 cores without HT) over the Core i3 (2 cores with HT). But one physical core with Hyper-Threading will be more productive than without it, and this can be seen in the example of Core i7 (4 cores with HT) and Core i5 (4 cores without HT).

This technology will be especially useful in applications that are good at parallelizing processes into different threads.

Burst

This technology is used in mobile Intel Atom processors (you can read about how to choose a mobile processor here), as well as in Celeron / Pentium versions for mobile devices. This technology is very similar to Turbo Boost. It also raises that above the rated value if certain conditions are met.

There are also two versions of this technology here. Only in the second, the exchange of power can be with the display, and with the graphic chip, and with the image processing system from the camera, and not only with the processor cores.

SpeedStep

This is an energy saving technology designed to dynamically change the clock frequency and supply voltage depending on the load. After all, why should the processor work at full capacity if there is no load? Processor power consumption is approximately directly proportional to its frequency. This means that by reducing the frequency by 2 times, we will reduce the power consumption by 2 times. The heat dissipation and, consequently, the noise from the cooler will also decrease. And the power consumption depends on the voltage to the second degree. This already means that by reducing the supply voltage by 2 times, we will reduce the power consumption by 4 times! But, unfortunately, it is impossible to change the voltage so much, and even a slight change in the power supply can make work impossible. Most of this reduction occurs in a very low utilization state using the Enhanced Halt State (or C1E) function. So the lion’s share is saved by lowering the clock frequency.

This technology has several versions: SpeedStep, SpeedStep II and SpeedStep III, but we will not focus on this, the description will suffice. We can only mention that it was presented back in 2001 in the Mobile Pentium III processor.

Speed ​​Shift

This technology is a continuation of the development of SpeedStep. It works more efficiently and responds faster to increased workload. This means that the processor reaches the desired clock speed faster and copes with the task faster. Speed ​​Shift can only work in processors starting from the Skylake generation, as it is implemented in hardware. Also, it must be supported by the operating system and at the moment Windows 10 already copes with this.

Also, a more advanced version of this technology was introduced at Intel Kaby Lake.

Intel Quick Sync Video

This is Intel technology designed to speed up video encoding and decoding in hardware. In this case, the graphics core has a dedicated integrated circuit dedicated to this. Thanks to this, this technology copes with its task better than video cards and is faster and more energy efficient, because the video card does not have blocks designed specifically for this function. But, as is the case with other technologies for hardware video encoding / decoding, the processing quality is worse than if this task is performed using the processor.

There are two versions of this technology. The first was introduced with the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture in 2011. The second version was released in 2012 with the release of Ivy Bridge. The second version of the engine had several changes, for example, an improved media sampler, which allowed it to significantly improve the speed of work, video quality, and also get support for high resolutions. A significant drawback of the technology comes from the fact that it is built into the graphics core of the processor, its functioning is impossible when the main computer is a discrete video adapter.

Extreme Memory Profile (XMP)

This technology allows you to use pre-made RAM overclocking profiles. This can come in handy if you don’t want to take risks. So you just take the profile you need and do not worry about its performance. The profile is selected in the BIOS. For this, the RAM must be certified.

InTru3D

This is such a standard for 3D content developed by Intel and DreamWorks. And, which is quite logical, this standard works well on modern Intel processors. More details can be found here.

High Definition Audio

This is a set of requirements for audio codecs integrated into the processor, which is designed to improve the quality of digital sound, both in terms of increasing the number of channels and bit depths with a sampling rate.

Intel vPro

This technology allows you to access your PC remotely. In short, this technology allows IT professionals to access PCs for troubleshooting and protection. It runs on a kernel basis and is not affected by the state of the power supply or operating system.

It is based on two other Intel technologies:

  • Intel Active Management Technology (AMT remote monitoring technology) allows you to discover, inventory, diagnose, repair, upgrade, and protect computing resources that are connected to the network. Also, using Intel AMT, you can isolate an infected PC from other network participants. An important feature of this technology is OC independence.
  • Intel Virtualization Technology (VT virtualization technology) enables multiple independent partitions and environments on a single computer. In this way, IT specialists are able to improve the reliability of the system by separating, both at the task level and at the user level.

We will not go into detail about the means of implementing these technologies. You can read more about this here.

Intel Authenticate

Powered by 6th Gen Intel vPro, this technology is an enterprise-class multi-factor authentication that improves privacy. Several different factors are used here to verify identity. You can have a PIN, a phone, and a fingerprint. The verification methods are chosen by the company itself, depending on the conditions. This technology uses all keys and their associated certificates, encrypts them, collates and stores them in hardware memory, which keeps them safe from the bulk of attacks.

Intel Smart Cache

It is a technology that uses shared L2 / L3 memory (L2 / L3 cache), which can reduce power consumption and improve performance. It is worth noting that when dynamically disabling cores, other cores get more cache.

Conclusion

All Intel technologies were not covered here. Here only the most famous and most affecting performance were specified. Technologies for the corporate segment were also touched upon, but rather casually. If you have any questions, then first we advise you to look into the section “Introduction, where the boundaries of applicability of this article are written. We hope this article helped you in choosing a processor from Intel and you figured out what various technologies give a processor.

 

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