dual-core processor

Intel and AMD has launched the dual-core concept processor. Not very far from its launching, we are starting to hear a lot about this new technology.

According to Star-Intech, the idea of dual-core processor is something which sidelined from Moore's law where the objectives is to double the size of transistor within a single slab of the processor. Dual-core processor on the other hand, takes advantage of leveraging.

The objectives:
To provide immediate advantages for people looking to buy systems that boost multitasking computing power and improve the throughput of multithreaded applications.

The applications:
Intel reckons that this technology will be widely used for the next generation gaming industry.
These efforts will fuel gaming software and features such as physics, artificial intelligence, character animation and world simulation that can take advantage of multiple CPU cores and threads. Intel® Pentium® Processor Extreme Edition that also includes Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, providing the ability to process four software "threads," and the Intel® 955X Express Chipset, formerly codenamed
"Glenwood."

why four software threads ? I thought our current computing environment is already multi-threaded ? I can develop a multi-threaded application as well.

Actually, what they mean is probably something lower level. It is in fact due to the reason that each core has two memory cache and thus dual-core has four memory cache(s). Refer to the following diagram for your amusement, originated from AMD.



How they do it:
Ideally, it is achieved by achieving a greater speed of the in("1") and out("0") of electrical signal within a single moment. Their problem is that by using copper as the medium for electrcial signal transmission, the speed of trasmission has almost reached the cornerstone. And by continuously packaging more transistor into a single slab, the amount of heat generated is tremendous. Dual-core concept was then initiated where the circuit-pattern within a single processor slab is shortened by half and thus giving up to double partition concept. This is not a straight foward thing, there are many ways to achieve this reality which involved many complexities.

The dual-core concept is the initiative towards multi-core concept. Intel is also working towards using optical element to replace copper as electrical transmission medium. Nevertheless, existing optical components, which are made out of such exotic semiconductors as gallium arsenide and indium phosphine, are far too expensive for use in individual computers or even local networks. They have identified the solution to use silicon for the components and thus scientist at Intel is researching into creating silicon-laser; silicon photonics. (Creating optical signal from silicon) - Technology Revew Inc

One would never appreciate this if not for being a game developer. Perhaps you can find out from the pioneer game developer in Malaysia;
Gamebrains.

Economical wise, dual-core processor should be cheaper than single core processor because it will offer better sales on top of a efficient manufacturing practice. Means that if people actually create demand for it, this should be realized. But which consumer is going to appreciate buying dual-core than single ? is all this marketing hype ?

we definitely need expert commentary from game developers.

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