Intel showcases Pentium M with on-chip Northbridge and Voltage Regulator

Posted on Thursday, August 25 2005 @ 21:50 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD's biggest performance and technology advantage over Intel is the integration of their on-die memory controller in their 64-bit processors. This increases performance and also lowers power consumption as it can take advantage of the processor's power management and advancements in processor manufacturing technology like smaller production processes.

Intel wants to close this gap and showcases one of its project at the IDF. It was a Pentium M processor with an on-package GMCH, or Northbridge with integrated graphics. The graphics core is also included in this package, and there are some rumours AMD is working on the same concept.

The design also includes an on-package CMOS voltage regulator. Normally these are placed on the motherboard but mostly they are too slow. Intel claims they can't many conventional voltage regulators can't switch between voltage levels fast enough, so they want to develop ran on-package CMOS voltage regulator.

This kind of CMOS based voltage regulators will allow much finer grained switching and will lower power consumption as the voltage regulator will switch faster, resulting in less power waste. Additionally, it will also make motherboard a bit more simple.

Intel didn't disclosed a timeframe of introducing this technology, but as they already had working silicon it may come soon. More details and concept photos can be seen at AnandTech

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