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Intel touts low-power, high-quality Sandy Bridge video

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IDF Intel's Sandy Bridge microarchitecture includes circuitry dedicated to making you look your best.

"Another new feature we're adding to Sandy Bridge processor graphics is a color-processing capability we're calling 'consumer electronics–quality color processing'," Intel's chief media architect Hong Jiang told attendees at the Intel Developer Forum on Monday in San Francisco.

As we reported last week, Sandy Bridge has a dedicated video transcoder in its graphics subsystem. Helping out that transcoder is the video pre-processor that Jiang was referring to.

Being an Intel engineer — a Senior Principal Engineer, no less — Jiang was ready with a brace of TLAs (three-letter acronyms) to describe the capabilities of the color-enhancement circuitry: STE, skin-tone enhancement; ACE, adaptive contrast enhancement; and TCC, total color control.

These "consumer electronics–quality" image enhancers work in concert with other video pre-processing elements in the Sandy Bridge graphics core — such elements include what Jiang called a "de-noise filter," plus a detail-enhancement filter and a deinterlacing element for what Jiang identified as "film-mode detection."

Jiang also emphasized that the transcoder included a "fully accelerated AVC encoder," and that all the video pre-processing capabilities — including STE, ACE, and TCC — will be available to both the encoding and decoding circuitry.

And should you worry that all this video niceness will eat up laptop battery power, Jiang claimed that the power required to play HD video in a Sandy Bridge system will be half required by Intel's current generation of integrated graphics.

And should you be tempted by the latest video gimmickry, Jiang assures you that Sandy Bridge's video subsystem will also be able to play full-resolution Blu-ray 3D video. ®

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