Intel Corp. this week unveiled details about its microprocessors code-named Sandy Bridge that are due in late 2010, more than two years from now. Obviously, the first details about the new central processing units (CPUs) do not give any indication regarding performance, but give a signal to software developers to get prepared for the innovations.
Earlier this week Patrick Gelsinger, senior vice president and general manager of digital enterprise group discussed Intel AVX (Advanced Vector Extensions) which, when used by software programmers, will increase performance in floating point, media, and processor intensive software, according to the Intel Corp.’s high-ranking executive.
Key features of Intel AVX include wider vectors, increasing from 128 bit to 256 bit wide, resulting in up to 2x peak FLOPs output. Enhanced data rearrangement, resulting in allowing data to be pulled more efficiently, and three operand, non-destructive syntax for a range of benefits. Some features that Intel describes as part of AVX resemble those available in SSE5 set of instructions developed by Advanced Micro Devices.
Intel AVX can also increase energy efficiency, and is backwards compatible to existing Intel processors (obviously, older chips will be able to execute specific operations, but will not do it as quickly as those featuring hardware AVX – X-bit labs), the world’s largest manufacturer of x86 microprocessors said.
Intel will make the detailed specification public in early April ’08 at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai. The instructions will be implemented in the micro-architecture codenamed “Sandy Bridge” in the 2010 timeframe.