One of those surprises was delivered, when Microsoft paired a quad-core Intel Core i7 microprocessor with a solid-state-disc drive and what Ruston Panabaker called a generic build of Windows 7; fired up the system, and presto! An 11-second boot time. The boot process can be parallelized across all four cores and all eight threads provided by Intel’s hyperthreaded processor. “It’s an Intel reference design,” Panabaker said. “But with high-performance hardware, this shows what system manufacturers can do.” Part of the improved performance comes from the telemetry data that helped Microsoft boost battery life by a significant amount when running on Intel’s next-generation processors. Other work was done by Microsoft itself, removing “thread locks” that stalled the system. Intel also works with the Windows 7 scheduler to migrate threads to idle cores, and then to shut those idle cores down if there truly is no work to do.
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