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Intel Yonah hidden features exposed

by Willy Deeplung on 7 February 2006, 11:50

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Intel Yonah hidden features exposed

Word reaches the Deeplung ear that Intel's Yonah processor, which ships under the Intel Core Duo moniker, has features that aren't being exposed to the consumer. Intel's Sossaman is the key, and Sossaman is the codename for an ultra low voltage Yonah to be shipped under the Xeon brand, into the server and workstation space.

And it transpires that Sossaman supports iAMD64, er, sorry, 'EM64T', symmetric multi-processing with another Sossaman Xeon, and hardware virtualisation. Intel's implementation of the 64-bit extension to x86, SMP and hardware VT are all missing from the official specs of Intel Core Duo consumer processors, despite Yonah and Sossaman being the same thing.

While hardware VT and SMP aren't really on the consumer radar for notebook users, the ability to move to a 64-bit version of Windows or Linux, with a supporting platform of course, surely appeals. It's therefore surprising to see Intel seem to hide away that ability in its Intel Core Duo chips, which now power a range of Apple products lest we forget.

Why so, Intel? Possibly even more beanworthy, especially if you love your CPU silicon as much as we do, is the whisper that Intel also engineered a version of Pentium-M with HyperThreading, 'back in the day'. While that matters little with the way the Core Duo platform has debuted, since it would seem to offer nothing that two complete cores can't do better, it's an interesting HEXUS.bean nonetheless, eh readers?

Want to chat about the fact your new MacBook, iMac or Windows-based Core Duo notebook won't let you run a 64-bit OS, despite the CPU having the ability? Please do!


HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

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So wait, can you actually run 64bit programs on it, or has it been "hard locked" not to do so?
Sounds like EMT64 has just been disabled on the processor. I doubt that it can be re-enabled. Could they have turned them off to keep the TDP down, for in a notebook?
I doubt (just IMHO) EMT64 has such great thermal payload... maybe it's a just the typical Intel approach, gradually adding features to a CPU family.
Interesting point... it may be that the 64-bitness wasn't entirely ready: Was it the Intel 875 chipset that was going to have built-in WiFi but it was broken, so they switched it off? I can't remember.

What is quite amusing is the way Gizmodo [us.gizmodo.com] have completely blown this up! I can't wait til it hits Engadget. :)

ch424
And it transpires that Sossaman supports iAMD64, er, sorry, 'EM64T', symmetric multi-processing with another Sossaman Xeon, and hardware virtualisation. Intel's implementation of the 64-bit extension to x86, SMP and hardware VT are all missing from the official specs of Intel Core Duo consumer processors, despite Yonah and Sossaman being the same thing.


I have an Dell Inspiron 9400 with the Yonah CPU and there's an option in the BIOS to ENABLE the VT.



-=Seppi2k=-