So, what are the promises that Intel is making for its 2011 range of 2nd-gen Core processors and associated technology?
Here Intel talks up its 'Core' processor technology, now in its '2nd-generation' and with better built-in HD and 3D graphics.
Intel says its new 'Core' technology is 'the first 'visibly smart' microarchitecture to combine visual and 3-D graphics technology with performance-leading microprocessors on a single chip', and adds that it incorporates 'the newly architected Intel HD Graphics on each 32nm die' which 'enables significant graphics performance improvements over previous-generation graphics for both HD media processing and mainstream gaming'.
Intel promises that its chips 'improve performance and yet still offer great battery life and the ability to design thinner, lighter and more innovative laptops and all-in-one PCs.'
Elaborating on its 'new processor graphics technology', Intel says it focuses on 'the areas where most people are computing today: high-definition (HD) video, photos, mainstream gaming, multi-tasking and online socializing and multimedia', and that HD graphics are built-into each 2nd-gen Core processor.
Then there's the ability to wirelessly transmit video to big-screen HDTVs using Intel's WiDi 2.0, with WiDi short for 'Wireless Display'. You'll need a special adapter for your flat-screen TV, or one that has the technology built-in, but it can send up to 1080P HD protected content from the Internet, your PC's or notebook's Blu-ray PC or DVD drive, and is Intel's answer to wirelessly sending video via DLNA or Apple's AirPlay and should get at least as much traction as DLNA and AirPlay have been able to muster up thus far.
Intel is also talking up its 'Quick Sync Video' technology, which is also part of the 2nd-gen Core processors. Intel says 'this built-in hardware acceleration takes the wait out of editing and sharing videos with astonishing performance that completes in minutes what used to take hours. Now faster than ever, consumers can edit, convert and share videos with friends and family', and added that instead of you waiting for a video to encode, your video is now waiting for you, estimating that a '4-minute HD video that used to take 4 minutes to convert to play on an iPod would now take just 16 seconds'.
Another boost is Intel's 'Turbo Boost Technology 2.0'. This is essentially overclocking that is officially sanctioned and implemented by Intel as a way to deliver even more performance from Core i5 and Core i7 processors.
Intel explains it by saying that 'this feature automatically reallocates processor core and processor graphics resources to accelerate performance, giving users an immediate performance boost when and where it's needed.'
There's also other technologies including 3D and HD and 'AVX' technology which 'increases performance for such demanding visual applications as audio processing and professional video image editing such as stitching together multiple photographs', while 'Intel Clear Video improves the visual quality and colour fidelity during video playback for a spectacular screen experience.'
Finally, Intel reminds us all of its '32nm manufacturing process' technology on Intel's 'second-generation high-k metal gate transistors', and says that are 'unique advantages' which 'further boost performance; reduce power consumption for better battery life and smaller designs, and lower overall manufacturing costs.'
More details are at Intel's CES site, but it's clear to see that Intel and all of its many and varied hardware partners will be stressing the big improvements to the latest generation of not just processors but complete systems, urging consumers and businesses to upgrade to new technology for absolutely perceivable major performance improvements.
If you are in the market for a new or additional computer this year, the new technology will be everywhere soon enough, with the older stock presumably set to go out the door at cheaper prices while the new stock will likely be very competitively priced itself while promising all the benefits and advancements, so 2011 looks to be, yet again, a very technological year whichever way you look at it!