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Intel Details Silvermont Microarchitecture For Next-Gen Atoms

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Intel 82

crookedvulture writes "Since their debut five years ago, Intel's low-power Atom microprocessors have relied on the same basic CPU core. That changes with the next generation, which will employ an all-new Silvermont microarchitecture built using a customized version of Intel's tri-gate, 22-nm fabrication process. Silvermont ditches the in-order design of previous Atoms in favor of an out-of-order approach based on a dual-core module equipped with 1MB of shared L2 cache. The design boasts improved power sharing between the CPU and integrated graphics, allowing the CPU cores to scale up to higher speeds depending on system load and platform thermals. Individual cores can be shut down completely to provide additional clock headroom or to conserve power. Intel claims Silvermont doubles the single-threaded performance of its Saltwell predecessor at the same power level, and that dual-core variants have lower peak power draw and higher performance than quad-core ARM SoCs. Silvermont also marks the Atom's adoption of the 'tick-tock' update cadence that guides the development of Intel's Core processors. The successor to Silvermont will be built on 14-nm process tech, and an updated microarchitecture is due after that."

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Cool! Picked up 400 shares @ $23.90 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43644927)

This thing is going to be a good buy going forward. Strong buy suggestion.

INTC is now at $23.87 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645551)

You already lost $12.00, congratulations!

Re:INTC is now at $23.87 (2)

WagonWheelsRX8 (1282738) | about a year ago | (#43645865)

Yet their P/E is almost 10x better than ARMH... Stock Market = Kentucky Derby these days, everyone bets on the hot new horse trying to make a quick buck.

Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (4, Insightful)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43644937)

Silvermont is a just core (CPU). It sits inside an SoC (system on chip), and your final power figures will still depend on the efficiency of the rest of the SoC (the GPU, the IO interfaces, the memory interfaces, any other dedicated hardware, etc.). And even then, the integration of technology is getting to the point where the SoC's power consumption is only a partially limiting factor in battery life. During lower power states and standby states, the comms units, the display, etc. can all consume way more power than the core.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (4, Insightful)

Amouth (879122) | about a year ago | (#43645115)

During lower power states and standby states, the comms units, the display, etc. can all consume way more power than the core.

Which is great really, because only a few years ago it was top of the list for power consumption. once it gets to the bottom, then we can start picking up the next heavy hitter to power consumption. It makes sense to work on what is hurting the most, and the CPU was hurting the most, now we can shift focus on to the next big one. Although that doesn't mean the CPU group should slow down, else they will soon be back at the top of that list.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43645135)

If we keep this up, then eventually we'll have computers with negative power consumption and I can start using it as an air conditioner rather than a space heater.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43645569)

I'm in Canada. I use AMD in the winter and Intel in the summer.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646447)

All fun asside, the largest heat generators in my setup are the screens, not the CPU, HD or the rest. While the computer uses 50-60W (AMD+nVidia 650+16G+2HD) at idle, the 3 LCD screens are well over 200W. And even if I upgraded to all LED LCDs, it would still be more than 2x the computer.

The largest improvement in heat reduction from the computer has been replacement of a regular power supply with a APF correcting, 80-90% efficiency power supply.

Inefficient power supplies are by far the largest waste of power, not AMD vs. Intel idle processors. Those are almost the same. And performance/watt, who cares if your CPU is 95+% idle? (like typical home CPU)

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (2)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43647117)

80Plus ratings only measure PSU efficiency down to 20% capacity. Chances are at a mere 50W idle, you're running well below that level.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about a year ago | (#43647275)

your *PFC power supply doesnt do that much if the house you live in is already (it should be) doing this to the different plugs about your house

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#43647481)

your *PFC power supply doesnt do that much if the house you live in is already (it should be) doing this to the different plugs about your house

That makes no sense. How would the house cure phase distortion?

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

operagost (62405) | about a year ago | (#43647593)

Intel used to make a nice winter space heater: Pentium 4.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645665)

But wouldn't your work get undone? I'd rather not have negative fps when gaming.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

evilviper (135110) | about a year ago | (#43648427)

Which is great really, because only a few years ago it was top of the list for power consumption.

That's utter nonsense. Displays (backlights in particular) have always consumed several times as much as the CPU being used. This is true at least back to 386 laptops, and I haven't ever seen an exception... I supposed some idiot, somewhere, might have crammed a Pentium-4 Extreme Edition in a tiny laptop, but I'm doubtful you can find a salable device anywhere, where the CPU was the biggest power consumer.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

Amouth (879122) | about a year ago | (#43648847)

well a quick google search for "laptop power consumption by component" first link is a PDF

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.87.5604&rep=rep1&type=pdf [psu.edu]

Which is a fairly nicely done research paper, sure in idle the screen is the most, but under load the CPU dominates, and that is very true even in a lot of newer laptops..

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650825)

I'd like to see them cover power consumption for idling CPU vs idling (dimmed and sleeping) display then. It's unfair to compare otherwise.

I can see both situations in which the CPU will be (mostly) idle but the screen will be active (ie. reading, writing code, looking at photos) and times when the CPU will be active but the display will be dimmed or asleep (ie. servers, rendering, compiling).

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663149)

Mobile Atoms on the market today (i.e. Medfield) under idle/sleeping conditions are competitive with any ARM processor on the market.

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a year ago | (#43645773)

Damn you, Gene Amdahl!

Re:Chips with 5x lower power consumption? (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#43650795)

To be fair though - even current Clover Trail Atom SoCs are astoundingly low power. It's one of the few good things about the Win8 tablet I bought. The (30Wh) battery lasts surprisingly long... I haven't gotten below 50% in a day (and that's with extremely heavy use, with nearly permanent inking in OneNote). I'd say I'm averaging less than 2W total power consumption (that's including the display and network connections).

peak power lower (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645061)

If power consumption when lightly loaded is competitive with ARM, then Intel may have something. Peak power consumption isn't as important for devices where the cpu is never pegged, or only pegged for a tiny fraction of a percentage of total time the cpu is running.

I have one arm dev board with an exynos4 on it, that has a huge heatsink on top. Pull the heatsink, and you never get even close to speed/power consumption when running with heatsink at 100% cpu. I have yet to see a phone with a heatsink as big as the phone, so I suspect that these phones *never* see 100% cpu, or only see it for such a short period of time (before thermal throttling takes place), that peak power usage is meaningless for most devices using arm SOCs.

I hope Intel pulls it off. It would be nice if power consumption factored larger in their other offerings too.

Re:peak power lower (1)

GoatCheez (1226876) | about a year ago | (#43645215)

Got an ODROID also?

Re:peak power lower (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647073)

:) yup!

Re:peak power lower (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645731)

Well, that's it (idle power consumption) isn't it. Most phones/tablets are idle or under very light load almost all day and ARM's offerings are just barely adequate.

Re:peak power lower (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43650539)

I have yet to see a phone with a heatsink as big as the phone

Why not? Seriously. Why can't a phone chassis be made of aluminum be the heatsink at the same time? There have been a few silent computer cases that have done this using heat-pipes. No reasons the chassis can't be affixed to the CPU via a thermal pad. At the very least, it makes for a nifty hand warmer in the winter time (j/k).

Re:peak power lower (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | about a year ago | (#43650803)

Have you taken a look at the Atom Z2760? Running full Windows 8, it feels noticeably faster than most mainstream ARM SoCs... definitely faster than my Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7. That may be down to the RAM though.

Re:peak power lower (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663177)

Might also be that magic 24 fps framerate that UX designers have pegged as the golden standard for smoothness :) But Clover Trail SoCs can have a max CPU freq of 2GHz.

Re:peak power lower (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663165)

It's possible--Intel and ARM both have SoCs in mobile phones right now, and none of those phones have heatsinks as you've described :) You can run the processors fairly hot, but when you trip a certain thermal limit, CPU throttling will kick in. For the amount of time you can run a processor at 100% speed without throttling, you ought to be able to finish whatever it was that you needed to do...don't loop Dhrystone all day!

AMD (3, Interesting)

chevelleSS (594683) | about a year ago | (#43645125)

It's going to be interesting to compare this to AMD's new G-series low power processors. The G-series will have a GPU attached similar to what will go into the PS4 and the XBOX720

Re:AMD (3, Informative)

Wesley Felter (138342) | about a year ago | (#43645939)

If by similar you mean 1/18th the performance.

Re:AMD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647911)

Said the sheep sucking diseased cum from intel's bloated cheesy cock.

how much will these cost? (2, Insightful)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43645147)

If they cost the $649 the iphone 5 or Galaxy S4 cost what is the point in switching?

i'd rather buy something that has market share unless there is a compelling reason t buy something else

Re: how much will these cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645207)

Cost is a factor but I doubt it will cost $649. Apple probably won't switch because they have heavily customized their ARM chips. It would take a major feature for them to switch.

Re:how much will these cost? (4, Informative)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#43645987)

Intel's Atom processors typically retail for $30-$80, with some being more, some less. OEM pricing is lower. That's just the CPU so it's not directly comparable to ARM-based SoCs which I hear cost about $15-$25. So Intel is substantially higher priced, but not ruinously so from an end-user's purchase standpoint. Certainly not $650.

The more interesting thing to watch will be how this impacts the broader computing market. Intel has managed to stay ahead of the competition buoyed by the enormous profits it generates from its Core CPUs, which typically sell for $100-$400. As CPUs get faster, the general population can get by with something lower down the product chain. I've already been recommending i3s to most of my customers for the last couple years. I'm very close to dropping the bar to high-end Atom or AMD CPUs. As more and more of Intel's sales shift towards these lower-end CPUs, their overall profit margin will start to dry up. It's going to be interesting to watch how they'll react to that.

Re:how much will these cost? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year ago | (#43650571)

i3 for low profile notebook users. i5 for desktops and laptops that use a docking station, and i7 if you're doing multi-media or other workstation class functionality (CAD, geophysics, etc).

For in office desktop computers such as a Dell OptiPlex 3010 or 7010 series, I recommend an i5 as anti-virus software and Windows Updates including .NET updates (trustedinstaller.exe and mscoree.dll) can take a substantial amount of processing power. Also, if you plan on backing up to the cloud or providing remote IT assistance (LMI, Team Viewer, VNC), there's some real-time compression going on that will chew through cycles as well. And lastly, software bloat. Throughout the life of these computers, they will be tapping into that i5 more often than they did when brand new.

Perfect example of market driving innovatoin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645203)

I see small low power chips advancing much faster then mainstream PC architecture style chips.

I wonder if they'll play catch up before we see more advance in the Moores Law department?

-don't mod me, I'm just a curious ac

Atom is dead!! (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645225)

ARM and Samsung have the mobile SoC market by the balls. Atom became irrelevant when netbooks gave way to tablets and phablets.

Companies like Intel and Microsoft should really stop chasing the smartphone and tablet bandwagon and focus on what they're good at: desktops and servers.

If they remain on this idiotic path, they run the risj of alienating their traditional customers AND never catching up to the mobile markets they drool over.

Re: Atom is dead!! (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43645335)

Rumor has it that the first iPads ran on Atom and Apple found their power consumption to be too much for acceptable usage. If true, Apple thought that using a different chip architecture that they didn't use before was worth the hassle than working with Atom. Remember the iPad came first then got shelved for the iPhone.

Re: Atom is dead!! (-1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#43645869)

Remember the iPad came first then got shelved for the iPhone.

What? The iPhone preceded the iPad by almost 3 years. June 29, 2007 - iPhone [wikipedia.org] , April 3, 2010 - iPad [wikipedia.org]

Re: Atom is dead!! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43646157)

He may be referring to the idea, not to the product on sale. (That's from Jobs' mouth, not mine.)

Re: Atom is dead!! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43647901)

Apple first built tablet prototypes before the iPhone. When they realized they could shrink the components enough to make a cell phone, they shifted to making the iPhone first. This detail came from Jobs himself.

Re: Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646887)

Yeah apple has never changed out chipssets.... They are still using motorola right?

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

asm2750 (1124425) | about a year ago | (#43645607)

Don't be too sure. Atom is useful in thin client and industrial PC markets like VIA.

However, I don't see the Asian phone makers switching to Atom, thanks to Qualcomm and Samsung. I do however, see Nokia and maybe all of Motorola switching to Intel.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | about a year ago | (#43645783)

Not quite. Atom is still good for non-gaming low-powered workstations and laptops. Pretty much every current computer I use, except the i5 at work that my boss pays the electric bill for.

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650607)

An Atom runs my home dlna, http, smb server just fine:
[root@merlin ~]# more /var/run/dmesg.boot
Copyright (c) 1992-2012 The FreeBSD Project.
Copyright (c) 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994
                The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
FreeBSD is a registered trademark of The FreeBSD Foundation.
FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE #0: Sun Jan 6 13:43:13 EST 2013
        root@atom1.comcast.net:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/ATOM1 amd64
CPU: Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N2800 @ 1.86GHz (1866.77-MHz K8-class CPU)
    Origin = "GenuineIntel" Id = 0x30661 Family = 6 Model = 36 Stepping = 1 Features=0xbfebfbff
    Features2=0x40e39d
    AMD Features=0x20100800
    AMD Features2=0x1
    TSC: P-state invariant, performance statistics
real memory = 8589934592 (8192 MB)
avail memory = 8227819520 (7846 MB)
Event timer "LAPIC" quality 600
ACPI APIC Table:
FreeBSD/SMP: Multiprocessor System Detected: 4 CPUs
FreeBSD/SMP: 1 package(s) x 2 core(s) x 2 HTT threads
  cpu0 (BSP): APIC ID: 0
  cpu1 (AP/HT): APIC ID: 1
  cpu2 (AP): APIC ID: 2
  cpu3 (AP/HT): APIC ID: 3

[root@merlin ~]# uname -a
FreeBSD merlin 9.1-RELEASE FreeBSD 9.1-RELEASE #0: Sun Jan 6 13:43:13 EST 2013 root@atom1:/usr/obj/usr/src/sys/ATOM1 amd64

More than one thing on the screen (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43645841)

Atom became irrelevant when netbooks gave way to tablets and phablets.

ARM tablets and phablets failed to make showing more than one thing on the screen at the same time a standard feature. If a tablet's screen is as big as three phones' screens, why can't it run three phone apps side by side? The only tablets that ship with multi-window multitasking as a standard feature of the operating system are Surface Pro and other Windows 8 tablets, and these use x86.

Re:More than one thing on the screen (1)

afidel (530433) | about a year ago | (#43645965)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has multi-window support.

Re:More than one thing on the screen (1)

tepples (727027) | about a year ago | (#43647973)

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 has multi-window support.

The problem is that the feature you mention is specific to Samsung products as opposed to being a standard feature of Android, and I've read that it only works with a few applications because Android applications are normally allowed to assume that the screen size never changes after installation [slashdot.org] . Do you expect every developer of an Android application to buy a Galaxy Tab 2 in order to certify the application for multi-window mode?

Re: More than one thing on the screen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650745)

It works in the Galaxy S4 as well.

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645991)

You're wrong.

Atom shines in thin clients and low power workstations, and things like home-theater PCs. I love mine for a home web server, media server, and media player. We even use it for simple word processing, Internets, and old games with no issues (running lightweight Linux). No offering from ARM or Samsung could do what I do with my Atom machine, although this is partly do to with the capabilities of the accompanying NVidia chipset.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43646195)

No offering from ARM or Samsung could do what I do with my Atom machine

If by "what I do with my Atom machine", you mean running x86 code, then perhaps you're right, but why exactly do you think that a 4-core, 1.5-2 GHz ARM solution with appropriate peripherals wouldn't be able to do the same thing?

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646331)

Is there an ARM-based board on the market with PCIe, at least 4 SATA ports, e-SATA, HDMI 1.4, Dual-link DVI, S/PDIF, 7.1 Audio? If there are, they are hard to find, but there are multiple Atom offerings. I require and use all of these things, but like a relatively low-power package. I'm not willing to solder up my own board either.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43646977)

Is there any reason why an ARM core on a SoC couldn't have those peripherals integrated? You're talking about "ARM" and "Samsung", but what you're asking for is a board with connectors. Especially it doesn't make sense to ask ARM, of all companies, to deliver a board with connectors to you when all they do is to license CPU cores to SoC manufacturers. ARM doesn't even do their own silicon, the board is two companies removed. Truth is, I'm slowly getting more and more pissed as well, but you're really barking up the wrong tree.

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647113)

Sure, it's not ARM or Samsung who makes boards, but the point still stands. I'm just sick of all the people constantly saying Why use Atom when ARM is better. Maybe it is on paper, but who the hell cares if no product exists which has the same peripherals as Atom boards currently on the market.

Even if ARM SOCs are just as capable on paper, you still can't use them for things which you can use Atom-based systems with if no product exists with the right peripherals. You cannot do the same things on very many ARM-based systems unless you build a board yourself. I'm just sick of people saying they're just as good or better than Atom systems, when there is no product out there which will actually do whet the ARM fanboys actually claim.

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647429)

Realist: ARM-systems can't do what Atom systems can.
ARM Fanboy: ARM is better and can do everything.
Realist: Show me how, using products which exist.
ARM Fanboy: Durrrrrrrrrrrrrr...

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43648525)

Neither the first line nor the second actually apply to this discussion, if you read carefully. But that would require reading comprehension, nicht wahr?

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about a year ago | (#43646833)

Atom shines in thin clients and low power workstations, and things like home-theater PCs.

I agree (speaking from 2009) and (even here in 2013) still use an Atom(ION) HTPC. I love it, as far as hardware-I-already-have goes. But you need to check out the lowest-power Ivy Bridge and upcoming Haswells. They are seriously encroaching on what used to be Atom's power usage, except much much faster and without the need for any Nvidia chips or drivers. I am not kidding: think carefully and look at what's available, before you buy another Atom (or Bobcat) board. Atom is either a has-been in this area, or is fading fast. If Atom's going to continue, it has to invade ARM's market, because Haswell is invading Atom's market.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#43650145)

Not on price, though it appears that this generation of Atom and Core are not very different. I suspect they will continue to converge in future generations until there are various flavors in a wider range of the same base technology.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663189)

They will converge until one cannibalizes much of the other's market on the power consumption spectrum (guess which).

Re:Atom is dead!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43649095)

although this is partly do to with the capabilities of the accompanying NVidia chipset.

It's entirely due to that. Take any ARM chip and pair it with hardware acceleration for media playback/transcoding and you can do everything you mentioned.

Re:Atom is dead!! (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663213)

Atom is going to more than just consumer phablet market segments. While you laugh, the roadmap is being laid down way outside the scope you just described.

An out-of-order execution, ha? How nice. only took (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645267)

them 20 years to catch up to Alpha and MIPS. And all the while China has been developing and manufacturing those Alphas and MIPSs... I believe the current generations are mostly reserved for military usages, like Alpha-like rugged laptops that run over 24hr with a modern linux distro or MIPS encrypted comms with weeks of power with a proper OS instead of a micro-controller.

Re:An out-of-order execution, ha? How nice. only t (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43657763)

When on earth did China manufacture Alphas? They were originally fabbed only by DEC, then Mitsubishi & Samsung got into the act, finally, DEC fabs were sold to Intel, and Compaq/HP ended the processor. China was never involved in its manufacture.

Even for MIPS, China was never involved. Loongson was a Chinese company licensing a subset of the MIPS instruction set and making a CPU based on that. It however is different from the MIPS in that it supports certain x86 instructions on-chip, which of course defeats the idea of going RISC in the first place. Nor does it support the entire MIPS instruction set

TROLL (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645723)

and other pARty [goat.cx]

22nm my rear end (0)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#43645849)

I love reading articles from back in December that call out Intel's bs. http://www.electronicsweekly.com/mannerisms/markets/intel-has-no-process-advantage-2012-10/ [electronicsweekly.com]

Re:22nm my rear end (2)

Algae_94 (2017070) | about a year ago | (#43645903)

I love seeing articles that scream about their bias in the headline.

"Intel Has No Process Advantage In Mobile, says ARM CEO"

Re:22nm my rear end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646633)

The article is from 2012 when Atom was on ancient 32nm (Intel didnt give 2 shits about Atom). Intel is finally going to use the latest fabs rather than the old ones for mobile. So yes, Intel NOW will have a significant process advantage in mobile. Intel will have 22nm mobile SoCs this year. Other ARM chips like the Exynos5 come in either 32nm or 28nm. Next year Intel will push Atom to 14nm and maintain its lead.

Re:22nm my rear end (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650523)

perhaps a clue from the date of that article would have made you ask yourself "have Intel changed anything since then so I don't look like a tool when I post this". Had you asked yourself that and checked perhaps you would have thought twice about posting it.

Ghandi's rules for Atom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646261)

First ARM ignores Atom.
Then ARM laughs at Atom.
Then ARM fights Atom.
Then Atom wins..

Just in time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43646391)

.. to taste some of the Windows RT fail..

(There is no real need of x86 tablet processors..)

Re:Just in time (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43647083)

The only case - if Atom/Fusion tablets could somehow run Windows 7 apps on Windows 8

When headlines like this are science (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647211)

Hm. My first thought when reading the headline was to imagine a world where a scientist is making this announcement about real atoms. Absolutely mind-blowing.

AMD64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43647811)

I'm wondering when we'll see AMD64 support on their Atom offerings. You don't see ARM's 64-bit offerings on phones yet, but their higher-end offerings need to handle that kind of memory. Meanwhile there are multiple phones with 2GB of main memory in circulation, I doubt it will be too much longer before phones need to handle that kind of memory.

Re:AMD64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648033)

I have an Atom-330 from several years ago which runs 64-bit Windows and Linux just fine.

Graphics weak (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about a year ago | (#43648017)

Silvermont looks pretty good. The only weak spot is the Graphics. It only has 4 EU compaired to the 16 EU in the HD 4000. The article says "I wouldnâ(TM)t be too surprised to see something at or around where the iPad 4â(TM)s GPU is today". That's pretty unlikely. If you consider that iPad4 has 76.8 GFLOPS. The Silvermont GPU would have to be clocked at 1200 Mhz to achieve the same performance - (only the top end Ivy Bridge parts are clocked that high)

AMD's Jaguar slaughters Intel's Silvermont (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43648047)

Intel has paid sites like Slashdot to proclaim every Atom chip to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and each Atom core has actually managed to be worse (in its sector) than the previous design. Remember, Intel is the company that spent more than the combined R+D budget of ATI and Nvidia combined (across their entire history) to produce the Larrabee GPU, the worst graphics chip ever designed, and the greatest semi-conductor flop in the history of forever.

Intel has exactly one success to its name- producing a moderately faster desktop x86 CPU core than AMD by outspending AMD by hundreds to one. Even in this incredibly limited field, AMD has actually bested Intel TWICE in x86 history. Intel is a dreadful, dreadful company, successful only because of its de facto (effective) monopoly in the x86 business.

Intel's current and coming mobile CPU cores are slaughtered in every important metric by AMDs astonishing new Jaguar cores, but it gets worse. Jaguar cores are simply part of the best x86 SoC (system on a chip) part ever produced, including the very best integrated GPU, and a massive step toward true HSA computing (Intel hasn't even begun to change its architecture to support any aspect of HSA).

Jaguar supports every current x86 instruction option. Intel ONLY supports the most recent instruction set improvements on its most expensive desktop parts. As you drop lower down Intel's line, they remove core features, ending in the utterly stripped down and crippled Atom line.

It gets worse. Intel's appalling GPU design (Intel was too thick to write drivers for the PowerVR licence it previously used- the same PowerVR architecture that powers all Apple mobile devices so successfully) stinks for any but the most basic use. Intel's integrated GPU cannot provide smooth gameplay, having massive variable frame latencies that always make rendering feel 'stuttery' (like the problem AMD has when using two ATI graphics cards together, only far far worse). Intel's GPU drivers are a compete horror, leaving most games full of visual glitches. Only games that get special attention from Intel's graphics teams have any chance or rendering acceptably of an Intel GPU.

It gets worse. Look at the coming Sony PS4- entirely designed using AMD's technology from 2014 (yes, that date is correct) desktop x86 parts. The single AMD chip that contains the EIGHT CPU cores, and the massively powerful GPU, moves almost everything the CPU might be used to process onto dedicated hardware blocks, or the GPU. Intel's CPUs are optimised around the concept of massively inefficient PC designs running a horrible Microsoft OS. Intel has a notable desktop lead over AMD because it handles these inefficiencies (like the massive over-heads when the scheduler switches active threads) better than AMD.

The PS4 architecture shows the future. A design that can finally run thousands of threads at the same time without over-heads that would use more than 100% of available CPU performance if attempted on the traditional desktop. Thread scheduling ARM based computers on the GPU itself to allow efficient COMPUTE threads to replace mega-slow FPU calculations on the CPU.

AMD and ARM are planning for a linear relationship between the transistors used, and performance. Intel's model is to double the transistor count for maybe 7% improvement in (traditional) CPU performance. It doesn't take a genius to figure out how this will work out for Intel.

Up to now, Intel has paid billions to software developers and Microsoft to focus on single-threaded performance. Such an approach has driven PC improvements into the ground, but has been incredibly successful in maintaining Intel's market share and profit margins. Behind the scenes, programmers were learning how to create 'work unit' based computing to drag every last ounce of computing from the ageing multi-core Xbox360 and PS3. This expertise, that perfectly scales to all multi-core designs, is the motivation behind the designs of both the PS4 and Xbox720, and all coming x86 parts from AMD.

Intel's desperate response is taking several forms. Intel is currently paying OEMs to use the new Atom parts, once again breaking the law (how many times has Intel been prosecuted and punished in court- but each time they gained far more from their crimes than the later level of fines levied against them). Intel is also preparing to finally (4+ years too late) to release a 6-core desktop part with crudely enhanced memory ports (4x64bit using DDR3, unlike AMD's PS4 part that uses the vastly faster GDDR5 memory). However, Intel is currently expecting to get 350 dollars+ for this part, which makes it a total joke.

Intel can fantasise about continuing to beat AMD, but ARM is a whole other story. ARM currently decimates Intel, but ARM hasn't even begun to seriously deploy its big guns. The 'Intel Tax' means that Intel can never dream of competing with ARM, but Intel also lacks ALL experience of useful SoC technology essential for current mobile devices. Intel deploys what it calls "good enough" solutions with crappy drivers to customers it expects to have the lowest possible expectations. Even the bottom end of the ARM market does a vastly better job than this. The mid and high end of the ARM market work to astonish their customers.

Remember, Intel had the very WORST 16-bit architecture of all competing semiconductor companies when IBM chose to use the 8088/8086 parts. It was a disgusting act of cynicism to choose the putrid 8086 over the amazing 6800, and computing was set back by more than a decade by that choice. Intel only started to improve its CPU designs when the obscene profits flowing from IBM's choice allowed Intel to steal wholesale from the CPU designs of all its superior competitors, especially those advancing so-called RISC designs. Intel stole patented work knowing it could afford any later penalty dished out in a US court.

Re:AMD's Jaguar slaughters Intel's Silvermont (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650037)

You raise some interesting points, however a couple of statements really don't sit well with me. From what I've seen so far, Jaguar can't compete against Silvermont on a power consumption basis. Also, Intel doesn't need to pay software developers to write single threaded software as writing multi threaded software is hard.

Re:AMD's Jaguar slaughters Intel's Silvermont (1)

spamchang (302052) | about a year ago | (#43663201)

Looks like AMD's budgeted priority for their marketing staff at the expense of their engineering staff is paying off.

Netbook 2.0 is coming (1)

caywen (942955) | about a year ago | (#43648919)

Always hard to read the tea leaves, but I predict a wave of new netbooks that will catch the market by surprise. I believe a wave of $350 netbooks running Bay Trail and Windows 8.1 will prove pretty popular. This will, of course, cannibalize the $1000 ultrabook sales, so this isn't to say it will be a revenue success. But Bay Trail would definitely make Netbook 2.0 pretty compelling.

Re:Netbook 2.0 is coming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43650783)

I already have a 300 dollar chromebook thank you very much. I think it has a celeron or something like that. I am very glad I will never need to learn to use windows vista78.

Numbers may be subject to change.. (2)

hsa (598343) | about a year ago | (#43651679)

* Numbers may be subject to change once verified with actual the parts.

http://images.anandtech.com/doci/6936/Screen%20Shot%202013-05-06%20at%2011.16.42%20AM.png [anandtech.com]

So this is marketing pulling figures out of somewhere and posting them as the Ultimate Truth, without actually having the hardware to test them with?

I can never remember (0)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43651737)

Is 'Tick' when the add more DRM and 'Tock' when they add the backdoors for the state security organs, or is it the other way around?
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