The Advantages of Intel Processorsby Edward Mercer
Even if you don't know what a computer processor is, you've probably heard the Intel chime at the end of computer commercials hundreds of times. That chime indicates that the advertised computers use Intel chips, and the fact that many people can hum it from memory should give you some idea of how common Intel's chips are in the market. While competitors AMD and ARM also manufacture processors, Intel's dominant position in the market confers certain advantages on its processors.
Intel's dominant market position means that many operating system and application developers design their products with Intel chips in mind. If application designers want to design a product that is both impressive yet operates smoothly on the average computer, their best bet is taking the specifications of Intel's upcoming processor into account. Because a greater number and wider range of motherboards operate on Intel chips, it's also easier to find compatible parts for your computer.
Beyond market share, Intel also leads chip makers in manufacturing capacity. As of the date of publication, Intel is in the middle of a multi-year, multibillion dollar campaign to build new facilities in Arizona, Oregon and New Mexico. This growing production capacity and investment in the latest chip-making laboratory technologies better equip the chip maker for new high-tech roll-outs like Intel's 22 nanometer 3-D tri-gate transistor technology. Greater production capacity can also mean greater variety and lower prices.
Processing and Performance
Included in Intel's 2013 line of third-generation Core processors, the 22 nanometer 3-D transistor is a marked structural improvement over previous, two-dimensional transistors. The change allows more data to flow through a single, denser transistor, and increases the processing power of a computer for things like generating graphics, performing calculations, rendering digital images, and processing audio and video data. The change makes multitask performance up to 25 percent faster than the previous chip baseline.
Heat Generation and Power Use
While chips use relatively little power, every bit of savings in power use allows your laptop's battery to last a little longer. Power also dissipates as heat in a chip, which can cause computer elements to overheat when the processor is running at full capacity, especially in portable computers where elements are closer together and receive less ventilation. According to Intel, it's third generation of Core processors also represent a 41 percent reduction in power use over the previous chip design.
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- Computerworld: Intel Slashes Chip's Power Usage While Boosting Performance
- The New York Times: Intel Takes a Wider Role
- USA Today: Intel's New $5 Billion Plant in Arizona has Obama's Blessing