In 2005 Intel announced “Yonah”, the codename for that refers to today’s dual-core processors. Marketed by Intel as “Core Duo”, the new multi-core CPU platform is now a reality and a step that has made unprescedented changes in mobile computing performance. For Tablet PC users, that means significantly improved multitasking performance and blazing speed in most every application. Tablet PCs powered by the Core Duo chips are able to rival even the fastest and souped-up desktop machines, yet the whole machine can fit in your briefcase.
Chip Chatter – Let’s Talk Technically
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How did they do it? On conventional processors such as conventional Pentium M chips, an allocated amount of physical space on the chip die allowed for one processor and one core. With the Core Duo Intel squeezed two cores into this same space. Keeping this space small was of ideal importance. The smaller the space, the less heat generated by the CPU. The less heat generated by the CPU, the better the battery life.
So what does this do? Two horses will simply pull a carriage faster than just one horse right? While this is true, the benefit of “two horses” in computing is much more complex. Think about it this way, what if you needed your carriage to go in two opposite directions at the same time? Aha. That is just what the Core Duo can and will do for you!
Imagine your in the middle of encoding some MP3s from your favorite Louis Armstrong box set. All of a sudden your Yahoo Messenger starts ringing – you got a call coming in from some guy you kinow in Ohio or New York. If you jump on your webcam and start chewing the fat during your MP3 fest, your machine might just have a meltdown. Single core CPU – perhaps. Dual core – off to the rescue! While your CPU core #1 is busy processing your MP3 encoding tasks, CPU core #2 steps up to the plate in a split nanosecond ready to handle your Yahoo Chat and wecam connection. Without any delay the second task is handled. While “chatting” for ten or fifteen minutes you remember that your still working on those MP3s. Checking back on the task you see that it is done! Things have moved along as if you never started up the second application.
Besides integrating the second core into the design, Intel engineers cleverly added 13 new instructions to the floating point of the Core Duo. This adds up to a 15 percent increase in speed. Finally using “dynamic allocation”, the Intel Core Duo CPU intelligently selects and breaks up tasks into pieces in order to handle the job as effeciently as possible. All in all the “Yonah” platform changes the way your computer works for you. Speed, reliability and the future of computing is yours – today.
Currently there is only one Core Duo Tablet PC, the Toshiba Portege M400. Many more are soon to follow. We already know of plans for Core Duo tablets from ASUS and Gateway. A rumored Core Duo refresh of the HP TC4200 (called the TC4400) is said to be making its debut any day now as well.
Be sure to check back with us next week for our “Full Review” of the Toshiba M400 with Core Duo. Our usual benchmarks and performance comparisons are underway and will be included!