Intel is likely to return to multiple micro-architectures for its processor lines, according to the chipmaker's chief technology officer Justin Rattner.
"Spanning the entire range of systems with one core is probably not possible, " Rattner said at the Research at Intel Day at its corporate headquarters in Silicon Valley.
"The question is how many core types you need. That occupies a lot of our research thinking."
Intel revealed in August that it will move all its microprocessors to a single micro-architecture, abandoning the Netburst technology in favour of the energy efficient Banias platform.
The two technologies were previously used side by side, with Netburst focusing on desktop and server chips and Banias on notebook systems.
Intel has since started marketing Banias as a core architecture and the first chips are due out later this year.
Rattner pointed out that the current core architecture offers a fair amount of flexibility by allowing chip designers to vary elements such the bus architecture and cache size to balance performance and power consumption.
But such compromises will not be able to go all the way, creating a need for different architectures.
"If you want to get that tenfold reduction in energy [consumption], that's probably going to require something different from satisfying a high-end server's needs."
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