Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Intel 7th Gen Core Targets Media Applications

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August 2016 – In a briefing at Intel Developer Forum, they provided an overview of the new generation of laptop and desktop computer Core Processor chips that form the i3/i5/i7 series of devices.    The new generation, the 7th in the Core series line, uses the improved design rule version of the Intel 14nm process that is being called the 14nm+.  The denser design rules allows for higher performance processing while operating at lower power than their prior generations  of these parts.

 In addition to the increased computing capability that brings a 1.7x improvement in performance to standard MS office tasks and 3x smoother playing for HD gaming, over a 5 year old PC, the processors have a new media capability.  This allows for the creation of 4K , UHD and 360 videos at 8.6x faster, about 12 minutes for conversion of 1 hr of 4K UHD video,  than the older PCs.  The new media capability is from a new media engine.  

Intel 7th Generation Core Processor - Integrated Media Engine

The higher density process allows for the inclusion of the dedicated media engine without a power penalty.  The block supports both decode and video processing as pre-blocks to the display engine.  The parallelized design uses a new HEVC 10bit, VP9 codec to drive the 4K experiences.  This gives the capability to delivery high frame rate rendering for gaming graphics and also provide near real-time clip creation from 4K video.

 The media processor is a major driver of the new platform, as YouTube, Facebook and others ramp up for 360Video capture, 4K sports camera, eSports gaming, and VR/Mixed Reality that convers the eSports, travel, education and entertainment markets.  Both the creation and consumption of this new high resolution content needs the dedicated function engine in addition to the multiple cores designed with the Skylake architecture.  The first half of 2016 has already seen over 400M video views of this high res content from the user created content market place.  It is anticipated that the 4K UHD content will be either consumable or capturable by 100M devices by 2017.

The new processors, which range from 4.5W-15W of operation, are planned for release in over 100 new designs in 2016.  These designs include ultrabooks, laptops, 2in1s, convertibles, mini pcs, and chomebooks all for the mobile market.  The enthusiast PCs will be both mobile and desktop platforms and will support the purpose built versions of the processors that support overclocking with high duty cycle for gaming and VR applications. 

 

The focus on media from both the consumption and creation/editing perspectives by home and SMBs users which is a shift from traditional wordprocessing/email/financial management, is the start of a new era of application and use of the personal computer.  These new processors, by virtue of the core architecture and advanced manufacturing process that allows for specialized functions, represent the next wave in enabling the next generation of media content.

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