The Mil & Aero Blog
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  DSP performance of the Intel Core i7 microprocessor: the hits just keep on coming
Posted by John Keller

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Just when embedded computing developers are getting used to the benefits of the Intel Core i7 microprocessor, such as floating-point processing for high-performance digital signal processing (DSP), they have something new to get excited about.

The DSP performance of the Core i7, for some applications, is about to double. This should be welcome news for embedded computer developers for DSP-heavy applications like radar processing, signals intelligence, and electronic warfare.

Better yet, Intel chip designers will not change the dimensions or pin connections of the new Core i7 microprocessors, which means single-board computer designers will be able to integrate these chips without redesigning the boards.

Peter Carlston, platform architect of the Intel Corp. Embedded and Communications Group in Chandler, Ariz., says Intel will offer versions of the Core i7 early next year with vector registers increased from four to eight.

That means the chip's floating point operations will increase from four operations per clock cycle to eight operations -- effectively doubling the chip's floating point performance.

This will have two primary benefits for DSP applications designers Carlston explains. They either can do more work in the same size, weight, and power footprint, or they can do the same work in a smaller footprint.

Imagine what that could mean for new generations of unmanned vehicles and soldier systems.

All this should happen by the first quarter of 2011.

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