Have you ever seen a laptop that was so large and bulky you had to ask yourself if the portable aspect of the computer had been lost on the company that made it? There is a reason why certain laptops have to be supersized to do what they do. Recognizing this problem has brought two long-time competitors together to collaborate on a new kind of laptop chip that seems likely to revolutionize the industry.
Laptops have quite an array of sizes, from the large and clunky Alienware gaming setups to the sleek and slim MacBook Air. These computers are intended to serve very different purposes, and until now it was not possible to fit the advanced graphics processing hardware into smaller laptops without causing serious overheating issues.
So what are these two chip manufacturers planning to do about this issue?
The reason that laptops dedicated to gaming and editing are so large is because they require two separate processing chips.
All computers use a CPU (Central Processing Unit). This is essentially the brain of the computer, it organizes and processes each calculation that the computer has to make. The number of processes that an average computer CPU can handle is measured in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). The CPU on your average computer can calculate over 50,000 MIPS! (50,000,000,000 instructions per second).
Computers that must process complicated graphics require an additional processor that is dedicated to the task, this is known as a GPU (Graphics Processing Unit). These processors rapidly handle extremely complicated algorithmic calculations and they can get very hot because of it. They often require dedicated fans and ventilation to prevent overheating, and that is what makes the computers that have a GPU much larger.
In a brilliant new breakthrough achieved through the collaboration of the industry leaders AMD (known for GPU) and Intel (known for CPU) engineers have managed to combine the two chips into something less than half the size they are today. This means that laptops with a dedicated GPU will be smaller than ever.
Imagine a device as thin and portable as the MacBook Air, but with the ability to process complex graphics that most users currently need a desktop computer to handle. In the not-so-distant future, it is plausible that other manufacturers like Dell, HP and Apple will adopt this new chip design or be left behind. That means faster laptops for everyone!
In a press release about this exciting achievement, vice president of Intel’s Client Computing Group, Chris Walker stated, "[This is a] great example of how we [Intel and AMD] can compete and work together, ultimately delivering innovation that is good for consumers."
Quad-core laptops are here, do you really need the power?
If you are interested in other powerful laptop developments, the quad-core laptops are definitely worth checking out. Plus, you can learn what a "core" actually is. Handy.