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Posted by John Keller

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Just when embedded computing developers are getting used to the benefits of the Intel Core i7 microprocessor, such as floating-point processing for high-performance digital signal processing (DSP), they have something new to get excited about.

The DSP performance of the Core i7, for some applications, is about to double. This should be welcome news for embedded computer developers for DSP-heavy applications like radar processing, signals intelligence, and electronic warfare.

Better yet, Intel chip designers will not change the dimensions or pin connections of the new Core i7 microprocessors, which means single-board computer designers will be able to integrate these chips without redesigning the boards.

Peter Carlston, platform architect of the Intel Corp. Embedded and Communications Group in Chandler, Ariz., says Intel will offer versions of the Core i7 early next year with vector registers increased from four to eight.

That means the chip's floating point operations will increase from four operations per clock cycle to eight operations -- effectively doubling the chip's floating point performance.

This will have two primary benefits for DSP applications designers Carlston explains. They either can do more work in the same size, weight, and power footprint, or they can do the same work in a smaller footprint.

Imagine what that could mean for new generations of unmanned vehicles and soldier systems.

All this should happen by the first quarter of 2011.

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Welcome to the lighter side of Military & Aerospace Electronics. This is where our staff recount tales of the strange, the weird, and the otherwise offbeat. We could put news here, but we have the rest of our Website for that. Enjoy our scribblings, and feel free to add your own opinions. You might also get to know us in the process. Proceed at your own risk.

John Keller for MAE
John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.


Courtney Howard for MAE Courtney E. Howard is senior editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine. She is responsible for writing news stories and feature articles for the print publication, as well as composing daily news for the magazine's Website and assembling the weekly electronic newsletter. Her features have appeared in such high-tech trade publications as Military & Aerospace Electronics, Computer Graphics World, Electronic Publishing, Small Times, and The Audio Amateur.


John McHale for MAE John McHale is executive editor of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, where he has been covering the defense Industry for more than dozen years. During that time he also led PennWell's launches of magazines and shows on homeland security and a defense publication and website in Europe. Mr. McHale has served as chairman of the Military & Aerospace Electronics Forum and its Advisory Council since 2004. He lives in Boston with his golf clubs.