Core 2 Features
Let’s take a look at Core 2’s key new features:
Intel Wide Dynamic Execution – Delivers more instructions per clock cycle, improving execution and energy efficiency. Every execution core within Core 2 is wider, allowing each core to complete up to four full instructions simultaneously using an efficient 14–stage pipeline (compared to 31 stages in Pentium D). Previous Pentium D/M CPUs were limited to just three simultaneous instructions.
Intel Intelligent Power Capability – Includes features that further reduce power consumption by intelligently powering on individual logic subsystems with the CPU only when required.
Intel Advanced Smart Cache – This includes a single, unified L2 cache that’s shared by both cores. This shared L2 cache helps to reduce power by minimizing memory traffic and increase performance by allowing one core to utilize the entire cache when the other core is idle.
Intel Smart Memory Access – Yet another feature that improves system performance by hiding memory latency and thus optimizing the use of data bandwidth out to the memory subsystem. This is accomplished in part via new cache prefetch algorithms, which allow the processor to distinguish as well as advanced prefetchers that reside in the L1 and L2 caches.
Intel Advanced Digital Media Boost – Now all 128–bit SSE, SSE2 and SSE3 instructions execute within only one cycle. This effectively doubles the execution speed for these instructions which are used widely in multimedia and graphics applications.
Other key pieces to Core 2 include:
Dual-Core Processing –
Like Pentium D, Core 2 features two independent processor cores integrated on-chip. Each core runs at the same clock frequency, and shares the L2 cache as well as front-side bus.
2MB/4MB L2 Cache –
Intel has outfitted Core 2 with up to 4MB of L2 cache. Lower-end Core 2 processors feature 2MB of L2 cache.
1,066MHz FSB –
Like some Pentium Extreme Edition processors, Core 2 features a 266MHz quad-pumped front-side bus, for 1,066MHz effective. This provides up to 8.5GB/sec of peak bandwidth to the CPU.
Intel Virtualization Technology –
Intel Virtualization Technology enables one hardware platform to function as multiple "virtual" platforms. For businesses, it offers improved manageability, limiting downtime and maintaining worker productivity by isolating computing activities into separate partitions. In the home, it allows creating unique user environments for multiple family members looking to use the same platform simultaneously.
Intel Extended Memory 64 Technology –
An enhancement to Intel’s 32-bit architecture to enable the processor to access larger amounts of memory. With appropriate 64-bit supporting hardware and software, platforms based on an Intel processor supporting Intel EM64T can allow the use of extended virtual and physical memory.
Execute Disable Bit –
Can improve protection against malicious "buffer overflow" attacks when properly enabled with a supporting operating system. Provides enhanced virus production when deployed with a supported operating system. The Execute Disable Bit allows memory to be marked as executable or non-executable, allowing the processor to raise an error to the operating system if malicious code attempts to run in non-executable memory, thereby preventing the code from infecting the system.