Monday, 13 February 2012

At the Consumer Electronics Show next month, companies like Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. are focused to make some path breaking announcements with reference to future designs of their products. One of the expected announcements is the introduction of a chip that combines the microprocessor and graphics processing unit.
A microprocessor is the main engine of a computer and a graphic processing unit is the part that improves image quality in games and otherwise.
This fusion of the two parts will simply make the computer smaller and faster since the electrical signal will be transmitted quickly. The shrink in size will not only be cheaper for the customer and the producer but also reduce the number of components required for a personal computer. The integration will give computers the power to do basic things that earlier needed more advanced devices.
Intel’s chief executive said “The approach is going to change the way people build PCs and buy PCs,”. The impact of this announcement will only be gauged after the CES. Some experts say that it will not change much since users need even better performance from their PCs than what this chip can deliver.
Currently Intel holds 80% of the chip market and is attempting to overhaul its Core product line with a design called Sandy Bridge. The campaign Intel intends to start is called ‘Visibly Smart’. Here, Intel will include GPU circuitry and video processing features among other things.
Mr. Paul Otellini said that demand is very high from PC makers that are waiting to include this chip in many of their products. It will also have a technology called Wi-Di which will enable transfer of high quality videos to TV sets wirelessly.
While AMD, the competitor to Intel has in 2006 bought ATI Technologies for $5.6 bn. They plan to merge the GPU producer with their microprocessor unit by 2009, and named it Fusion. The execution of this plan got delayed and at the CES AMD will get its new range of chips that will be an integration of microprocessors and GPUs. But their competition to Intel’s Core line of chips will only be available by the later part of the next year.
High definition video playback is the main focus among other things for the new AMD chip. This will be a boon for users of Netbooks and other low category items. Rick Bergman, an AMD senior vice president said “We are bringing just this incredible amount of visual and computing power to segments where it hasn’t been seen before,”
Another player interested here is Nvidia that produces GPUs. They say that the Sandy Bridge product by Intel will still be a notch lower than required for some applications. These two companies believe that Microsoft DirectX 11 is still not able to run certain popular games properly. The Sandy Bridge is expected to eliminate that need from low-end PCs.
“We have more design wins in Sandy Bridge than any other platform,” said Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. Many PC makers think otherwise as over 200 models will come with the Sandy Bridge including the GPU.
Intel has kept the performance expectation under wraps while they say that it will start with higher end models having a chip with the capability of four inferior chips.
Nvidia official Mr. Huang thinks that this chip will increase demand for PCs because of other technological improvements. “I think this is the best microprocessor that’s been built for quite a long time,” he said.
The only man who has used the new technology from Intel, Mr. Kelt Reeves, president of Gaming-PC company Falcon Northwest, accepted that the new chips are better than the old ones but the graphics are un satisfactory.


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