Theres a presentation slide that Intel recently sent us plotting time versus the performance of its processors and what tasks theyve been designed to address. According to Intel, back in the days of its 486, technology was impacted by Microsofts Windows operating system . Then, the Pentium emerged, addressing a push toward multimedia and increased use of the Internet. As computer systems started running a more diverse suite of software applications, multi-tasking came into focus, paving the way for Hyper-Threading technology. Christened with the ability to process multiple threads simultaneously, Intels Pentium 4 picked up significant performance in applications properly optimized for the feature. But while Windows XP reports that a Hyper-Threading-enabled chip boasts two logical processors, an appropriately equipped Pentium 4 really only wields one set of execution resources for its computing duties.
Enter dual-core technology. Both Intel and AMD believe that PC usage models are evolving towards more intensive multi-tasking. Multimedia, language processing, streaming content--theyre all applications that will operate at the same time, consuming precious processing resources. Instead of exclusively devoting energy to ramping clock speed, an exercise of finite potential given current manufacturing techniques and power consumption issues, the two competitors decided within short succession that theyd instead broaden their capacity for operating on multiple threads simultaneously.
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News source: BPN Forum