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Tom's Talks Moorestown With The Father Of Centrino

Ticky On Power

TH: Easier said than done, I’m guessing. But to make that happen, you had to conquer power first, right?

TT: Yes, starting with standby power. We had a great, ultramobile, PC-class device platform before. It was low power...but not low enough. So the big challenge for us was to figure out how to deliver low idle power in this kind of form factor. We have work going on in our labs with OSPM—OS Power Management. We want to use Intel’s process strength to get as much out of the process as possible in terms of performance integration and the low active power you can get from the smaller transistors. We introduced the notion of power gating at the island level. We want to use only the power needed to do the activity that you’re doing, not switch on anything else. Today, most operating systems, such as the larger Windows-style OS, do quite the opposite. It’s like opening your front door and the whole house lights up. That’s not what we wanted to do here.

TH: Which explains probably part of why Moorestown for phones doesn’t support PCI and thus Windows, but larger form factor Atom platform versions, including the forthcoming Oaktrail platform, do.

TT: There are many factors at work here. But regardless, we introduced this lowest power management capability that basically allows selective switching off of logical units. When I’m not using, say, the video recording capabilities, the encoder is off. When I’m using only the audio engine, I don’t need the rest of the system on. I only need a little bit of memory and the NAND on. So with active power, we only switch on the circuits needed to do the work. That’s how we achieved our 50x reduction in idle power and over 2x to 3x reduction in active power, while not dropping even a percent in performance .

TH: That seems almost counter-intuitive. In the PC and server worlds, there’s usually some trade-off.

TT: There’s no impact whatsoever in managing performance because when we needed the performance, we enabled it. The key thing there is to get the work done faster and shut down the processor in the platform. That part is very important, because getting that platform in a quiescent state early allows us to actually save more energy by completing the work earlier than if we’d used a slower processor. We deliver higher performance than any of our competitors and save energy during that time.

  • whitecrowro
    "Why are we all here today? What is the meaning of Moorestown?
    Ticky Thakkar: Our vision was to.."
    - pardon me, but all this naming sound like a Star Trek interview, on Tau Cygna (M class planet in Orion Nebula).
    Reply
  • cmcghee358
    It would be nice to see Intel take a jab at discrete desktop graphics. If anything just to provide more competition for the consumer.
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    It would be nice to see that Zune HD ver 2.0 or even 3.0 with an updated Moorestown and a better Nvidia chip than the ion or ion2, with capabilities of at least 2.0ghz and 2gb of ram all the size of the zune.... imagine with 48hours on music, and 5 hours of video, this will only get larger as time goes by.... hopefully in a year or a year and a half we can see some TRUE iphone competition now with the new windows mobile out! We just need more apps
    Reply
  • Onus
    It never occurred to me to want an iPhone, but I definitely see one of these in my future.
    Reply
  • matt314
    cmcghee358It would be nice to see Intel take a jab at discrete desktop graphics. If anything just to provide more competition for the consumer....discrete desktop graphics is a pretty niche market. Without any experience in the field or specialized engineers, it would cost them alot of money in R&D, and they would not be able to beat ATI or nVidia (neither in performance nor sales)
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Maybe its just me but I read the entire thing and Mr. Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar came off as a arrogant ********.
    Reply
  • Onus
    cknobmanMaybe its just me but I read the entire thing and Mr. Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar came off as a arrogant dickhead.Merely disagreeing with you doesn't merit a "thumbs-down," but I didn't get that impression. Confidence, maybe; his experience no doubt backs that up, but I didn't find him arrogant. I liked how he called BS on the FUD.
    Reply
  • zodiacfml
    I read his comments carefully and found that those were carefully chosen words. Confidence is very much needed to get the support everyone while remaining factual.

    In summary, I expect their device to be better performing than anything else in the future at the expense of a huge and heavy battery to power the Atom and the Huge screen making use of excess performance.

    cknobmanMaybe its just me but I read the entire thing and Mr. Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar came off as a arrogant dickhead.
    Reply
  • cjl
    zodiacfmlI read his comments carefully and found that those were carefully chosen words. Confidence is very much needed to get the support everyone while remaining factual.In summary, I expect their device to be better performing than anything else in the future at the expense of a huge and heavy battery to power the Atom and the Huge screen making use of excess performance.Did you read the article? One of the points raised was that the battery life should be just fine, contrary to many people's assumptions.
    Reply
  • eyemaster
    He knows his product, the targets to meet and what they have accomplished. I'm sure they experimented on competing devices too. The man knows that they have a great product in their hands right now that beats all the others. That makes him confident, not arrogant.
    Reply