Processor Mimics Memory for Photo and Video Management
Intel’s new processor, codenamed Sandy Bridge, could change the way people edit, store and share their digital images.
“People used to communicate with text. Today people communicate with pictures and video,” Mooley Eden, Intel’s vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, said. For instance, people upload two million minutes of video each day and Facebook users upload 2.5 billion photos every month.
The aim of Intel’s new processor is to enable people to use technology to share their lives by creating photo and video content, and making it a process that everyone can use without being a geek, he said.
The way our minds work
In a dramatic demonstration of Sandy Bridge capabilities at Intel’s press event at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company unveiled an entirely new way to store a lifetime worth of photos and videos on a computer that makes accessing them as natural as remembering.
With its 1.6 billion transistors on each tiny chip, a Sandy Bridge processor has 16 times as many transistors as there are neurons in the brain.
“We remember faces, places and dates,” he said. “We collect photos and video, but how can we find them?”
He suggested we repeat the way our minds work. Using a computer with its images projected across the width of the stage, Eden demoed Intel’s software designed to showcase an intuitive way manage image files.
The computer display is touch enabled. It starts with a map of the world. Red dots indicate the places where photos were taken and videos filmed. Touch a place and the display switches to a calendar. Choose a day. From there, the program zooms in to the groups of images taken on that day and the screen is filled with photos and as many as 60 videos running simultaneously, a feat made possible with Intel’s second generation processor. Relying on visual cues rather than text, the process is speedy and natural.
Next generation processing powers more efficient accessing of what could be an enormous personal database, and it means faster editing. In the time it takes to eliminate red-eye today, you can “beautify” an entire photo.
Different file formats are required to view the same piece of video on different devices. The process of converting one file format to another is called transcoding. Computer to iPod, camcorder to computer, computer to TV, all require transcoding, a process that has caused hours of frustration for users who simply don’t want to wait, Sandy Bridge offers transcoding times up to 10 times faster than Intel’s previous processors.
For instance, four minutes of HD video can be processed to run on another device such as an HDTV in 16 seconds, a process that previously took around four minutes. Overall, content creation is 42 percent faster with Sandy Bridge processors, according to Intel.
“The way we communicate in three or four years will make today look like the Middle Ages,” Eden said. “It’s going to be gesture recognition, it’s going to be avatars, it’s going to be real-time. We’ll make movies. We’ll be the hero in the video game.”
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