Intel reveals design for fast, efficient future chips

SAN FRANCISCO, August 4, 2008 (AFP) – Intel on Monday revealed details of a new generation of chips designed for video game lovers, multi-taskers, and people that want power-sipping computers adapted to increasingly mobile lifestyles. The world’s largest chip maker provided a glimpse of “multi-core” computer processing technology codenamed “Larrabee” that it plans to showcase next week at an industry conference in Los Angeles.

Intel and rival Advanced Micro Devices already sell chips with two or four “cores,” basically the brains in processors.

Intel is to release in 2009 or 2010 a first wave of Larrabee chips with 16 to 48 cores and tailored for handling computer game graphics.

Multi-core chips cut energy use and heat while speeding performance by dividing tasks between cores.

Portions of programs run simultaneously in a style referred to as “parallel computing.”

Traditional single-core processors handle tasks in a linear fashion, racing from start to finish in sequence.

Along with allowing faster computer game play with film quality graphics, multi-core chips are considered a boon to computer users increasingly prone to tending to multiple tasks at once.

For example, a computer user might watch o