It works like an Intel chip, but looks like the Cell processor. That’s one way of describing the energy-efficient multiple core processors being devised by secretive Montalvo Systems. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has come up with a design for a chip for portable computers and devices that–when finished and manufactured–will theoretically be capable of running the same software as chips from Intel or Advanced Micro Devices.
Montalvo’s chips, however, will fundamentally differ from the latest Core or Opteron processors from Intel and AMD in that the cores on its chip won’t be symmetrical, i.e. identical to each other. Instead, Montalvo’s chips will sport a mix of high-performance cores and lower-performance cores on the same piece of silicon, similar to the Cell chip devised by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony, according to sources close to the company.
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