New Intel Chips Make PC Hi-Def a Viable Alternative To HDTV

Dennis Faas's picture

Intel will soon release a new line of microprocessor chips that many believe will raise the number of high-definition videos available over the Internet. The increased computing power of the chips is expected to transform the current fragmented and often blurry clips found on most video streaming sites into high-resolution, full-screen quality movies.

Analysts have called the new chips a "major breakthrough" and "the biggest thing to happen to high-definition videos". Some even claim that PC Hi-Def will rival HDTV in the very near future. (Source:

As the demand for Internet video continues to grow at a rapid rate, so too is the computing burden placed squarely on the shoulders of digital video providers like Google and Microsoft. These companies must compress the video files so they can be streamed to desktop and portable computers. The new line of Intel chips would initially be used in servers and high-end desktops that compress video files.

The Intel chips are the first of their kind to use a new manufacturing process that hopes to increase computing performance and reduce power consumption. Intel believes that their latest breakthrough will give them a significant competitive advantage over their rivals.

The chips were developed under super secret conditions and given the code-name "Penryn". The chips use a re-engineered transistor that is roughly half the size of its predecessor. The transistor switches more frequently and requires less power to do so as opposed to the previous transistor. (Source:

Thanks to the advancements made by Intel, the industry is now building chips using 90-nanometer technology (whereby each nanometer is one-billionth of a meter). With that scale, about 1,000 transistors would fit across the width of a single strand of human hair. Intel started making chips at 65 nanometers in 2005; nine months before their closest competitors began using similar technology.

The Penryn chips symbolize the next step in micro processing: using 45-nanometer technology. Intel believes that they now have the ability to squeeze up to 820 million transistors across a single silicon die. (Source:

The first products to use the new chips will be the Intel Core 2 and Xeon microprocessors. Intel would not disclose when the two products are expected to be released to the public.

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