Intel Developer Forum, Day Two

Sandy Bridge And Blu-ray

Intel hosted a series of media technology sessions, and we managed to sit in on a session titled “Building Blu-ray 3D Systems.”

Stereoscopic 3D is all the rage in the consumer electronics world. It’s unclear how many people are actually buying into the 3D movies in the home concept (as opposed to simply buying the latest HDTV, which happens to support 3D.) Still, a lot of marketing and engineering effort is being put into 3D HDTV.

Sandy Bridge graphics, in addition to building in programmable Execution Units (EUs), includes full dual high definition decode capability in a fixed-function unit. This Multi-Format Decoder natively understands H.264, VC1, and MPEG-2, completely offloading from the graphics engine and the CPU when decoding two simultaneous high definition streams.

The two streams are composited, along with any other layers (like subtitles). The EUs come into play here, doing the heavy lifting on the compositing side, assembling the frames into a format that the display device can then take and render into a pair of left-right frames.

What this means in the end is that you’ll be able to buy a laptop with Intel HD Graphics (or whatever the company decides to name Sandy Bridge's graphics engine) and watch 3D movies. Intel was showing off the capability of using a Sandy Bridge laptop attached to a 1080p HDTV via HDMI for 3D viewing.

Note that the entire focus of this effort is on 3D stereoscopic video playback. It’s very unlikely that Sandy Bridge will offer enough 3D horsepower to render 3D games stereoscopically, so Nvidia’s 3D Vision is still safe for the time being--at least when it comes to gaming.

  • vns
    Good coverage, but is it justified to bring in "zacate" to IDF ? :)
  • rwmunchkin12788
    I think the article is right on the money when it says the Sandy Bridge based laptops will be marketed as premium mobile PC's, while the AMD Zacate will be cheaper.

    I personally think AMD will win out in the cheap laptop with integrated graphics battle. AMD just has a great chance to put a big dent in this market in their favor.
  • lamorpa
    It is very sad to see half of the 'local students' trying out the Classmate PCs are overweight or obese. There may be some more fundamental programs these kids need, like healthy living.
  • azcoyote
    I like the Boxee idea but seriously... Where the &%$# is anyone gonna fit a device shaped like that?
  • insightdriver
    @azcoyote, based on looking at the rear side of the box, I gather it sits flat, albiet, skewed, but is small enough that fitting it on a shelf won't be a problem. It's just "out of the box," in shape, so to speak. :-)
  • kilthas_th
    You'll want to take a look at Anandtech's updated notes on the Zacate chip. It appears that the "psychedelic" benchmark wins were due to the OEM driver for the Intel GPU. When updated, they scored basically the same. However, Zacate still trounced it in CoH and also Arkham Asylum.
  • milktea
    I don't want a Boxee. I want a flatee. :D
  • dowsire
    Speaking of graphics, AMD’s Dave Hoff also alluded to its next-generation graphics, code named Northern Islands. Little actual data was forthcoming, but the magic eight-ball says “sooner than you think.”

    What? I thought the new AMD HD 6800s were going to be southern island. Is northern island actually coming out earlier like 1H11 or in the beginning 2H11. The same time that Bulldozer and AM3+ comes out.
    2nd why is the "cpu" so important in fusion chips.I think that the AMD version, priced as mainstream, will be better than the sandy bridge. More and more software is being off loaded to the GPU, even MS is making software run from the gpu i.e. internet explorer 9.
  • eastcoaster
    When is Intel going to do a SSD refresh I wonder?? Me want!!
  • jimmysmitty
    vnsGood coverage, but is it justified to bring in "zacate" to IDF ?
    Why not? IDF is not just for Intel. Sure Intel started it and is the main attraction but its for developers everywhere to show stuff off.

    I like it that way. Lets Intel and AMD see whats coimng.