The International Solid-State Circuits Conference began this morning in San Francisco, and Intel has taken the opportunity to share some of what its Intel Labs skunkworks division has been working on. One of the Intel Labs projects is a low-power graphics execution core built on a 22-nm fab process. Take a look:
This is presumably a device aimed at mobile and handheld systems, and the quoted power-efficiency gains are rather substantial. Intel claims a 2.7x gigaflops-per-watt increase at near-threshold voltage operation and a 1.4x increase in peak gigaflops per watt, which is presumably a best-case scenario at low voltage.
Compared to competing mobile solutions, those gains may be further compounded by Intel's manufacturing advantage. Intel builds chips on a 22-nm process, while the rest of the industry is stuck at 28 nm—and unlike the competition, Intel has already moved to FinFETs, or tri-gate transistors, which can further improve energy efficiency.
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