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Santa Rosa – a new transportable platform of Intel

Evgenie Rudometov

For implementation of potential possibilities of the newest accessories, and also the accelerated implantation of perspective processing techniques Intel corporation has declared release of an optimal platform for the notebooks, received name Santa Rosa

By estimations of analysts IDC, today growth of the market of transportable PCs saves high rates. Really, in 2006 in locale EMEA, including Russia, it has made 27,5 %, and current year - about 25 %. Predictably, by 2010 over 50 % of all sold in EMEA computers will make transportable arrangements among which the main share is necessary on notebooks of traditional formats.

Estimating rates of development of the market of transportable arrangements, it is necessary to mark, that the success of notebooks first of all speaks fast development of solid-state technologies and microarchitecture of processor kernels. Appearance of more perfect models of central processor units allows to reduce energopotreblenie and to increase speed of information processing which long time was defined basically by clock rates of the processor.

However as a result of fast evolution of solid-state technologies frequency growth has ceased to be a main objective of designers of transportable products. Instead productivity on watt the spent energy became criterion. Change of criterion has demanded processing of inner patterns of the main chips. For their support and respective alterations have been brought in the architecture of platform solutions. The processing technique of Intel Centrino which has transited together with evolution of transportable platforms of some stages became a concentrate of the realised changes.

The first generation of the solutions grounded on new principles, has appeared together with bendom Intel Centrino in 2003. Here it is necessary to remind, that an appropriate logo has been admissible to put only on those products in which have been installed the processor of Intel of Pentium M (kernel Banias), a bar chip set i855 and the unit of wireless data transfer Wi-Fi from Intel. The platform for such notebooks carried name Carmel.

However rather soon processor with kernel Banias was replaced by a new product of Intel as which basis kernel Dothan which is modification Banias has served. The new kernel has been created on processing technique of 90 nanometers. As a result of appearance of the new processor platform Carmel has received further development. However it could not provide implementation of all advantages of the new processor which has saved, by the way, the name of Intel of Pentium M.

In 2005 platform Sonoma has been developed. The transportable variant of a chip set i915 — the chipset of system logic of desktop systems became its basis together with the processor . From other features it is necessary to mark support of the system bus of 533/400 MHz, dynamic storage DDR2-533 units, and also presence more a purse in comparison with predecessors of the integrated drawing of Intel GMA 900 and a new variant of Wi-Fi unit. This solution became the second generation of processing technique of Intel Centrino.

The third generation has appeared in the beginning of 2006 after release of the new processor constructed on the basis of essentially new kernel. Development has received name Yonah, and the two-nuclear processor — Intel Core Duo. The one-nuclear variant — Intel Core Solo has been released also . The platform constructed on the basis of a transportable chip set i945 with the built in drawing of Intel GMA 950, has received name Napa. It has saved all advantages of the previous development, having provided growth of productivity and profitability rise according to criterion productivity watt. From new parametres it is necessary to mark rise of frequency of the processor bus and memory to 667 MHz with simultaneous implantation of more perfect processing techniques energosberezhenija.

However Intel corporation was not gathered to rest on laurels, and rather fast on light there was even more perfect processor — Intel Core 2 Duo, constructed on kernel Merom. This processor possesses not only bolshej productivity and energoekonomichnostju in comparison with the predecessor, but also supports 64-bit calculations. Platform Napa — Napa Refresh, as a matter of fact, remained invariable and has saved a brand of Intel Centrino (Intel Centrino Duo – for systems with two-nuclear processors) in which popularisation Intel corporation has enclosed some honeycombs millions US dollars.

And here in May, 2007 the transportable platform Santa Rosa which has incorporated all reachings of the previous developments and allowed to realise new perspective processing techniques, including following generation of Intel Centrino (a Fig. 1) was published.

Fig. 1. Basic performances of transportable platforms Napa and Santa Rosa

In the given platform the transportable variant dvuhjadernogo Intel Core 2 Duo (Merom), supported by appropriate transportable chip sets of the bar i965, earlier known as Crestline is applied . Their basis of a steel, as well as in the previous case, appropriate sets for desktop systems with the same indexing. For transportable solutions two chip sets which have received names Mobile Intel GM965 Express Chipset (iGM965) and Mobile Intel PM965 Express Chipset (iPM965) now are released. Each of them traditionally consists of two components. The first is presented by chip GMCH or MCH, the second – chip ICH8M or its expanded variant ICH8M Enhanced (ICH8M-E).

The chip set iGM965 incorporates the GMCH component with rather powerful integrated graphics kernel Mobile Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3100 (Intel GMA X31000). The architecture of this kernel is development of the appropriate development which used in a set iGM965 for desktop systems and have received the name of Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X3000 (Intel GMA X3000). It is necessary to mark, that the built in graphics resources of Intel GMA X31000 provide without usage of intermediate graphics controllers output of the high-quality video map or on built in notebook structure is liquid-crystalline panel (ZHK, LCD), or on the external screen monitor.

The alternative chip set iPM965 is more simple on the architecture and accordingly possesses the smaller price. However for operation with resources of mapping of the information he demands presence of the external graphics adapter providing necessary preconditioning of the output video information.

Other components of the system which architecture is resulted in a Fig. 2 have undergone to considerable finishing also.

Fig. 2. The architecture of the transportable system created on the basis of Santa Rosa

By the way, the processing technique of Intel Centrino presented in a new platform by two variants has undergone to modification: Intel Centrino Duo and Intel Centrino Pro. The second is oriented to the corporate market and provides a number of additional possibilities in comparison with Intel Centrino Duo. As the most interesting it is necessary to mark, for example, processing technique of Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT 2.5), facilitating administration, inventory, diagnostics and restoring of computers after glitches and accessible earlier only for corporate users of the desktop PCs realising processing technique of Intel vPro. Besides, users of systems with implementation of Intel Centrino Pro receive the expanded possibilities of a wireless communication at support of high level of safety at handle of an IT infrastructure. In addition to it with ICH8M-E component functions of Intel Matrix Storage with support RAID 0/1 became accessible also.

As a result of the led modifications of a transportable platform technical parametres of transportable system have considerably improved. For example, frequency of the processor bus in a platform has received new value — 800 MHz, that on 20 % more than the previous metric of 667 MHz. It has provided essential growth of productivity of processors of Intel Core 2 Duo, and, therefore, and all transportable computer system. By the way, at the big loading of one of processor kernels probably ten-percentage increase in frequency of its operation (processing technique of Intel Dynamic Acceleration) at observance of the common temperature balance (TDP - Thermal Design Power) in admissible limits.

The extension of possibilities of a platform is promoted by controller Gigabit Ethernet presence. In addition to it the maximum number of ports USB 2.0 has increased to ten, and high-speed Serial ATA II – to three.

Upgrade has concerned also mandatory for a brand of Intel Centrino in all its variants of the unit of wireless radio communication Wi-Fi. The new unit of Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N 802.11AGN — Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN, earlier known under name Kedron, supports specification IEEE802.11n. The given specification which is grounded on implementation Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Technology, provides the big range and the big transfer rate in comparison with prior standard IEEE802.11g. The specified growth is provided with simultaneous usage of several radio channels and special system of the aerials which operation is supported by appropriate hardware-software resources. As a result of innovations the transfer rate can reach almost 300 Mbit/with, that five times faster prior standard IEEE802.11g.

One more important innovation is implantation in the architecture of a platform of transportable system of the special unit which basis is made by flash-memory NAND which size can reach 1 Gbyte. Usage of the given unit urged to increase productivity at low energopotreblenii and it is essential to expand functionality of a notebook. The given processing technique known earlier as processing technique Robson, has received the name of Intel Turbo Memory. Its usage is capable to reduce loadtime of necessary data and programs, including an operating system quick start in which quality operating system of Windows Vista is recommended. Besides, often used information stored in the unit of the flash-memory, reduces number of calls to a hard disk drive that promotes rise of productivity and an operating time from the standalone power supply.

It is necessary to mark, that except the specified innovations in platform Santa Rosa the considerable quantity of perspective processing techniques is realised. For example, Intel Clear Video and Intel TV Wizard urged to provide to users the qualitative map, convenient and fast operation with HD-video and a TV-content.

Considering a transportable trend of the systems released on a basis platform Santa Rosa, its implementators have given the big attention to the processing techniques reducing energopotreblenie that has allowed to increase offline work time considerably.

So, for example, for the purpose of productivity and lowering optimisation energopotreblenija in the architecture of a platform in case of small computing load double lowering of clock rate of the system bus (processing technique Dynamic FSB Switching) is provided.

Usage of the buffer flash-memory together with appropriate hardware-software resources considerably reduces level energopotreblenija. According to experts of Intel saving of energy from implantation of this processing technique makes 260 mvt.

For one more spare is liquid-crystalline display consuming to 35 % of energy is. Lowering of this level allows to increase offline work time. One of energosberegajushchih processing techniques — processing technique Display Power Saving (DPST 3.0), regulating operation of highlighting of the Zhk-matrix without visible loss of quality. Energy saving — to 400 mvt.

Except DPST, the processing technique received name Dinamic Display Power Optimization (D2PO) and routed on reduction energopotreblenija is worthy. The principle of its operation is grounded on the analysis of type of the map. If operation is carried out with static or medlennoizmenjajushchimisja maps there is a transition in a mode of interlaced creation of frames. It means, that at first there are even strings, then odd, as in the TV. In a case of activation of the program application demanding a high speed of output of the high-quality map, for example, of dynamic game, the mode progressive (all strings of the map are output consistently) creations of frames uses at frequency of their change of 60 Hz. Thanks to this processing technique it is on the average saved still to 400 mvt.

Except the enumerated processing techniques, respective alteration the power supply subsystem — Mobile Power System and handle of a disk subsystem by means of Intel Matrix Storage Manager 7.0 (saving — to 400 mvt), realised in ICH8M-E component has undergone    . In addition to it obestochivanie not used controller Gigabit Ethernet gives saving to 100 mvt, and switching from a mode 1000MBPS in a mode 10/100MBPS at transition with external on the self-contained supply saves still to 950 mvt.

Further development have received and become traditional to processing technique energosberezhenija Intel Enhanced SpeedStep, Deeper Sleep, etc.

All these developments are routed on saving of energy and allow not only to improve thermal modes of compact transportable systems, but also it is essential to raise an operating time from the built in secondary generator. According to experts the additional gain from implantation of the specified processing techniques can make 60 and more minutes of offline work.

Estimating advantages of the specified platform, it is necessary to mark, that mass release of notebooks on platform Santa Rosa has started in May of this year. Now the number of offered models makes more than two hundreds — from extralight to the "heaped up" multimedia systems.

However, despite optimistical forecasts of some companies concerning a new platform, the part of manufacturers doubts possibility of products on the basis of Santa Rosa to start to be on sale really in the near future. The underplate for doubts is the price raised approximately on $300 in comparison with similar models on platform Napa Refresh. In their opinion, products with platform Napa will dominate in the market during all third quarter of current year. Nevertheless, already by the end of 2007 Intel corporation plans to finish sales of the notebooks using platform Santa Rosa, to 90 % in a segment of high-powered arrangements of class DTR (Desktop replacement).

In summary it is necessary to mark, that on the considered platform progress, of course, will not stop. Predictably, already in the second quarter of next year, Intel will present transportable platform Montevina which should replace existing Santa Rosa. On available data structure Montevina will include sets of system logic Cantiga GM and PM, processors Penryn made on 45-nanometrovoj of processing technique, and even more powerful built in graphics controller. Further transition from existing processor microarchitecture of Intel Core embodied in processors of the bar of Intel Core 2 Duo, to future Nehalem (2008 ) and Gesher (2010 ) will lead to further growth of productivity and saving energopotreblenija. For their support Intel corporation bessomnenija will offer even more perfect platforms for transportable systems.

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