Intel touts 'Sandy Bridge' video chops
'Eye candy' men
CES 2011 Intel unveiled its new line of processors this morning at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The focus of the presentation wasn't raw performance or "power per watt", as was true in other processor intros. The focus was "eye candy".
"The built-in visual capabilities enabled by these new processors are stunning," said Intel PC client honcho Mooly Eden in a statement accompanying the rollout.
That statement, tellingly, was entitled: "Intel Brings 'Eye Candy' to Masses with Newest Laptop, PC Chips."
Sandy Bridge 2nd Generation Core processors
Although details of the new processor line – codenamed "Sandy Bridge" but now known as 2nd Generation Intel Core processors – have been known for some time, today's introduction focused on the line's video and graphics capabilities.
What Intel calls its "visibly smart" effort includes an upgrade of Intel's Wireless Display (WiDi) tech, which streams video wirelessly from PC to HDTV. The new version 2.0 increases resolution to 1080p, and – more important for the content-creation industry – it includes "content protection", a feature that is undoubtly of great interest to announced partners such as Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.
Another "eye candy" feature that was announced on Wednesday is the rather cleverly named Intel Insider, a video-delivery service that will allow you to stream video from content partners such as Warner's WBShop to watch on your 2nd Generation–equipped PC or on an HD television connected over HDMI. Watch it, that is, after the service goes live sometime this quarter.
Intel says that a third new feature, given the marketing moniker of Quick Sync Video, "takes the wait out of editing and sharing videos with astonishing performance that completes in minutes what used to take hours." When announcing the new processor line's video prowess last September, Intel chief media architect Hong Jiang said that its tricks would include "a color-processing capability we're calling 'consumer electronics–quality color processing'."
Intel's integrated graphics have never been known for their peppiness, and it remains to be seen whether this latest iteration will live up to Chipzilla's promise of enabling "significant graphics performance improvements over previous-generation graphics for both HD media processing and mainstream gaming." ®
Hardware Crypto was available from Via for ages
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.
Via has had AES on-chip for nearly 10 years now and an early vintage 2003 C3 Nehemia core at 1GHz would still run circles around anything up to i7 Core on encryption/decryption tasks. So 800 times - on crypto... Well some other time. 800 times compared to "Intel inside" - maybe. 800 times compared to _COMPARABLE_ chips with hardware crypto - not really.
As far as GPU tasks the jury is still out on that one too.
So the processor will run a service to allow streaming of video content without the OS being involved? Because this is what the article appears to say!
I think that this is more likely to be media encryption keys locked in the processor, so those nasty Open Source people can't hack them to allow the content to be 'stolen' while it passes through the OS layers. This would enable the media to be encrypted all the way from the server on the Internet to the graphics hardware, and thence on to the display device. Sounds like Intel and the content providers got tired of waiting for the TCG to deliver bare-metal-to-application system trust, so have bypassed the whole OS stack, and large parts of the system hardware.
This does pose the question what if you want to use better graphics hardware than Intel provide? Still, I'm just speculating here.
Wonder if they will do proper linux support?
You missed one
You missed one or Intel missed one on purpose for similar reasons to Adobe editing the "web runs on flash" rant to remove the more entertaining part of it.
There is one more feature listed for Sandy bridge. According to this article
on Windows you also have "Skin Tone Enhancements"...
Cough, cough... I love the smell of VHS early in the morning... Cough, Cough... If you cannot beat them on technical grounds, beat them on "skin tone"...
Surely Sandy Bridge is more like the fourth generation Core processor - after Core (Yonah), Core 2 and Core i (Nehalem). Intel marketing obviously keeping up their tradition of maximum confusion...