Subject: General Tech | April 12, 2012 - 12:32 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: microserver, Centerton, seamicro, atom, low power
Microservers are the newest old idea to hit the PR flacks, anyone who remembers the original blade servers already has a good idea what a microserver is. Intel has once again tried to take ownership of a form factor, in this case defining what they feel the market should consider a microserver. In some ways, the single socket design seems to run counter to current low power servers, which tend towards large arrays of low powered APUs but at the same time when you no longer have to worry about the interconnects between those APUs you can drop the price significantly.
AMD has had several forays into this market and while Intel has never put much effort into this segment vendors like Dell and HP have been creating microservers using an Intel processor for some time. This heralds a change in Intel's strategy when taking on ARM and AMD in the server room, with the 6W Atom Centerton chip they announced at IDF. The Inquirer was also told of 10W and 15W parts which would be more powerful although they could also require a bit more space than what the 6W part could survive in. It seems that those looking for inexpensive servers which require very little infrastructure will have a lot of choices to spend their money on by the end of this year.
"CHIPMAKER Intel dropped an Atom bomb on the second day of IDF in Beijing, announcing its 'Centerton' microserver chip that will draw just a miserly 6W of thermal design power (TDP).
It defines a microserver as a computer with one socket, error correction, 64-bit processing, and minimal memory and I/O. The Atom Centerton platform will have two cores, Hyperthreading and support for ECC DDR3 as well as VT-x virtualisation technology. Intel said the Atom Centerton chip will be available in the second half of this year."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Intel introduces 910 Series PCIe SSD @ The Tech Report
- Intel's SSD 910: Finally a PCIe SSD from Intel @ AnandTech
- Intel expected to bring forward the launch of Ivy Bridge @ DigiTimes
- Malware-infected flash cards shipped out with HP switches @ The Register
- US sues Apple and book publishers for ebook price fixing @ The Inquirer
- WD pushes out super-slim shock-resistant Ultrabook drive @ The Register
- Samsung WB150F Review @ TechReviewSource
- Intel predicts 15 billion connected devices by 2015 @ Kitguru
- Ninjalane Podcast - Server Update Choosing a Video Card HWBot Team Update
- Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Preview @ Techgage
Subject: General Tech | March 22, 2012 - 01:44 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: valleyview, shark bay, PowerVR, Ivy Bridge, haswell GT3, haswell, atom
Phoronix has been investigating the open source driver code which was recently released, designed to power Intel's Haswell chips. The news is not as good as some had hoped; there were rumours that a Gen8 Haswell GT3 IGP would appear in Haswell but according to the hardware IDs that were found in the code that is not going to be true. Instead you are looking at refined Gen7 Haswell GT1 and GT2 IGPs and so will be an improvement over Ivy Bridge but not a completely new chip. Check out the rest of the secrets revealed by the code here.
"While Intel's Ivy Bridge launch is imminent, and I'm still digging through information concerning today's Intel Valleyview code drop that brings Ivy Bridge graphics to their next-generation Atom as they do away with PowerVR graphics for their SoCs, more graphics driver code to enable Haswell support has landed this evening."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- What's New in Linux 3.3? @ Linux.com
- Japan's once-proud semis learn size DOES matter @ The Register
- Globalfoundries ships 250,000 32nm wafers @ The Inquirer
- First-tier motherboard makers drop 7 series motherboard prices @ DigiTimes
- Intel Valley View: Atom SoC With Ivy Bridge Graphics @ Phoronix
- Weekly Giveaway #24: Thermaltake Chaser MK-1 and Saphira Mouse @ eTeknix
Subject: General Tech | February 9, 2012 - 12:07 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: arm, Intel, amd, atom, low power, cortex, Medfield, hondo
To revive an old buzzword some of you may have forgotten, ubiquitous computing is the current holy grail of the computing industry. If AMD, Intel, ARM and to a lesser extent NVIDIA, can get the market to prefer one of their low power processors over the competitions there is a lot of money to be made in the mobile market. The way that they are approaching the market is very different however. In Intel's case they pride themselves on the general computation power of their upcoming Medfield processor though that comes at the cost of power consumption and less graphics capabilities. AMD. like Intel, are trying to reduce the power consumption of their chips and though they lag behind in general CPU performance the graphics capabilities are generally considered superior.
Then there is ARM, which is striving to overcome its reputation of providing chips low in power, both electrically and computationally. Their latest Cortex processors are certainly display a vast improvement in performance compared to previous generations. The power consumption may have increased but not to the levels of consumption of the Intel and AMD chips. Intel and AMD need to continue lowering their power consumption without sacrificing power while ARM needs to increase performance without impacting the power consumption before anyone can be considered a clear winner. There is another consideration which DigiTimes points out; right now ARM is winning the price war which could be every bit as important as power consumption or computational power.
"While Intel and AMD have been making efforts to develop low power processors for use in smartphones and tablet PCs, they cannot compete with solutions from ARM in terms of price, according to notebook makers."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Android's Chrome finish comes too late for Flash coating @ The Register
- Transactional Synchronization in Haswell @ Intel
- Google touts website prefetching with Chrome 17 @ The Inquirer
- AMD announces FirePro V3900 for entry-level professional graphics @ DigiTimes
- Windows 8 confirmed for February 29th (Beta Queue) @ Kitguru
- Ninjalane Podcast - Basic Casemodding Listener Mailbag Interview with a Top Overclocker
- Samsung NX 200 Review @ TechReviewSource
- Weekly Giveaway #21: Antec LanBoy Air and High Current Pro 750W Power Supply @ eTeknix
Subject: Mobile | January 26, 2012 - 03:47 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: tablet, ssd, oaktrail, mobile, Kupa X11, atom Z670, atom
You might not expect to see a tablet being examined at the SSD Review, except for the Kupa X11 which contains a 64 or 128GB mSSD drive. As the Atom and Oaktrail pairing are perhaps not the fastest mobile chips on the block, the initial testing tried to determine if that chipset would prove to be a bottleneck. They tested the Kingspec 128GB SSD which was included in the tablet as well as a Renice X3 120GB ‘SandForce Driven’ SSD and a Kingston mS100 SSD. The Kingspec was the slowest choice of the three and even though the other two did perform more impressively Oaktrail did indeed prove to limit the performance of the drives. On the other hand, it is still faster than a HDD and the SSD helps to extend the life of this 1366 x 768 10.1″ tablet to around 10 hours. Also worth noting is that this tablet runs Xin7 Professional, not a trimmed down OS, and will fully support Win8.
"Just prior to CES we had received an e-mail from a reader who had spoken of a company called Kupa, a tablet manufacturer who, as the reader had stated, “wasn’t afraid to experiment outside the box”. it took us all of two seconds to get to the Kupa Website and discover the Kupa X11, a tablet PC with all the power of a full size computer to include a Intel Atom Z670 1.5Ghz Oaktrail platform, 2GB RAM and your choice of 64 or 128GB SSD. Needless to say, we were impressed."
Here are some more Mobile articles from around the web:
- Acer Aspire TimelineX 5830TG-6614 Review @ TechReviewSource
- HP Envy 15 (Early 2012) Review @ TechReviewSource
- Capsule Review: GeChic's On-Lap 1301 Laptop Monitor @ AnandTech
- The Battle of The Netbooks: Intel vs AMD @ eTeknix
- Mobile CPU Comparison Guide @ TechARP
- GE Chic 13 inch On-Lap Monitor Review @ TechwareLabs
- Thermaltake Tt eSport Battle Dragon LAN Bag Review @ eTeknix
- Motorola Razr Android Smartphone Review @ HardwareHeaven
- Samsung Galaxy Nexus & Ice Cream Sandwich @ AnandTech
- HTC Explorer Android Smartphone Review @ HardwareHeaven
- How to transfer and play .AVI movies on your iPhone @ Funky Kit
Subject: Processors | December 28, 2011 - 07:15 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: pine trail, netbook, Intel, cedar trail, atom, 32nm
Intel has been pumping out quite a few new processors lately, with new Sandy Bridge-E CPUs, a new Sandy Bridge i7 2700K processor coming out, and now a new line of Atom CPUs sneaking in the news right before the new year! Not to mention, they are also working on Ivy Bridge.
The new Atom CPUs are of the Cedar Trail variety and succeed the older Pine Trail-M Atom processors. Currently, there are three Cedar Trail chips that will be available as soon as January in OEM systems including the N2600, N2800, and D2700 CPUs. Further, the new chips are 32nm and have a 22x22mm package size. These little chips are destined to power netbooks, tablets, embedded devices (think medical devices, ruggedized tablets, machinery). Yes, Intel still believes in netbooks, and feels as though emerging markets will keep the market alive and growing as people want for cheap computers that are able to get them on the web. While the netbook is losing popularity in the US, Intel expects the South American, Eastern European, and African markets to see great interest in the netbook platform. Their netbook plans involve three price tiers with accompanying use cases including netbooks at $200 with minimal features and a price to match that enables people to access the web all the way to $400+ netbooks with lots of features that would fill out the market up to where the Ultrabook territory begins at around $900.
The new Cedar Trail processors improve upon the previous gen Atom chips by quite a bit, according to Intel. The graphics aspect in particular has been improved such that 1080p HD Youtube and HD Netflix streams are playable at at least 24 FPS. Something that early netbooks using Intel's integrated graphics will never be able to do. Intel further estimates a 50% lower TDP and a 28% processor performance increase over the Pine Trail chips. Further, the new Cedar Trail chips have more cache at 2 x 512 L2 cache(s), higher clockspeeds, lower TDP, higher C-State (C6 vs C4E)/lower power usage in sleep mode, a 200MHz higher clocked graphics card (400MHz vs 200 MHz), and increased memory speeds (DDR3 800 and 1066 vs DDR3-667). The fastest Nxx chip, the N2800 manages a .2GHz clock speed increase while also knocking off 2 watts from the TDP versus the previous top N570.
Needless to say, Cedar Trail is looking very good, on paper at least. The individual chip specifications are listed below.
|CPU Clock Speed||Graphics Clock Speed||TDP|
|N2600||1.60 GHz||400 MHz||3.5 W|
|N2800||1.86 GHz||640 MHz||6.5 W|
|D2700||2.10 GHz||640 MHz||10 W|
What are your thoughts on the new Cedar Trail chips, do you think they will provide enough "oomph" to make new netbooks desirable again? Some more information can be found here and straight from Intel here.
Subject: General Tech, Processors | December 28, 2011 - 02:33 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: intel atom, Intel, atom
Intel’s Atom processors were created as a tier below their Celeron product line. Netbooks, then running VIA Nano processors, have started to gain popularity since their introduction in late 2007. Intel’s Atom processors took the place of the VIA parts since that time. In 2009, Intel has stated that they have seen approximately twenty percent of their sales of notebook processors replaced with sales of their cheaper Atom processors. Intel still maintains the Atom processor line, but apparently with new goals in mind.
Up and ATOM!!!
According to Digitimes, the demand for Intel’s Atom processors has declined recently. Intel, in response, decided to market that tier of parts to embedded and server customers for use in network-attached storage devices and very low-end servers. Intel is also rumored to have plans to shrink the process size of Atom in 2013 to 22nm and again shrink process size to 14nm in 2014. The upcoming 32nm Atom processor is expected by the second quarter of 2012.
Subject: General Tech | November 30, 2011 - 12:24 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: cedar trail m, atom, 32nm, sandybridge DT, Pentium 350, socket 1155
There are two very different families of low power chips from Intel; one of which is available now and the other will be shipping in December after a 2 month delay. First off are the new Atom chips which DigiTimes mentions, both dual core 32nm Cedar Trail-M parts. Neither chip represent any major changes to the Atom lineup apart from a die shrink which allows higher frequencies at lower power. The original delay was reported to be because of issues with 64-bit support as well as DX10 support but there has been no definitive news either way about if those problems will exist on release. The graphics core does jump from 400MHz to 640MHz which may help Atom compete with Llano but it is still not going to be a fair competition.
The Register reports on a completely different low power chip which may find its way into some server applications. Don't let the name fool you, the Pentium 350 is a Sandy Bridge-DT chip based on the same core you find in the Xeon E3 chips that are already on the market. They support Turbo Boost, Trusted Execution Technology, Hyperthreading and virtualization optimization as well as all the other improvements in the Sandy Bridge lineup. The 32nm chip has two cores running at 1.2GHz, sports a TDP of 20W and is expected to sell for around $150. At that price and TDP it is unlikely to be a good answer to the smaller chips that ARM is now trying to sneak into the server room but at least Intel now has a low power chip for the server room.
"Intel will launch its Cedar Trail-M platform for netbooks including 32nm-based Atom N2800 and N2600 processors in December, according to industry sources.
Because of shrinking demand for Atom processors and chipsets due to competition from tablet PCs, Intel's third-quarter 2011 revenues of US$269 million from related products dropped 32% on year, the sources indicated. Due to weak demand, Intel has delayed Cedar Trail-M from September to December, the sources noted."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Does Linux Mint 12 Measure Up? @ Linux.com
- Desktop coilgun lets you play Scorched Earth in your living room @ Hack a Day
- Google researchers propose fix for ailing SSL system @ The Register
- Insanely great PCIe 4.0 bit rate locked in @ The Register
- Garmin Nuvi 50 Review @ TechReviewSource
- BUSTED! Secret app on millions of phones logs key taps @ The Register
- Gigabyte X79-UD5 Giveaway @ AnandTech
Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 6, 2011 - 08:32 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: tablet, slate 2, psg, hp, business, atom
Not long after HP reconsidered spinning off the PC manufacturing arm of the company, it has begun prepping two new business computers. The new PCs are aimed at business, education, healthcare, and government users and include a tablet and notebook. Specifically, HP is releasing the HP Slate 2 tablet computer and a lightweight notebook dubbed the HP 3115m.
The HP Slate 2 is a dark gray and silver accented slate style tablet computer weighing in at 1.5 lbs and a 8.9” (diagonal) screen. Running Windows 7, the computer offers both pen and touch input using its capacitive multi-touch display. To make up for the absence of a hardware keyboard, HP is including a new Swype keyboard application which will likely be well received as a notable improvement over the default Windows 7 on screen keyboard. As it is aimed at business users, several security enhancements are baked in, including a TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip, HP ProtectTools, and Computrace Pro BIOS level security software.
On the hardware side of things, the HP tablet is powered by an Intel Atom Z670 processor and a mSATA compatible SSD. A front facing VGA camera is available for video conferencing, and a second 3 MP (megapixel) camera is located on the back providing photo and video capture. Further, the tablet features SRS Premium Sound, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Bluetooth, optional 3G mobile broadband, an SD card slot, and USB 2.0 ports. HP is further designing a docking station, integrated Bluetooth keyboard tablet case, and a Point of Sale (POS) attachment that adds a magnetic card reader to the tablet for processing credit card payments.
For those that would prefer a hardware keyboard instead of a tablet PC, HP is also releasing a lightweight notebook. The company claims that the new HP 3115m laptop will offer up to 11.5 hours of battery life. The PC features a 11.6” LED-backlit HD display, an HP webcam, and Beats Audio. Powering the laptop is a AMD E450 dual core Fusion APU. The APU features AMD Radeon HD 6320 graphics hardware, which should easily meet the needs of road warriors and business professionals.
Both the HP Slate 2 and 3115m will be available later this month. The HP Slate 2 will be available worldwide towards the end of the month while the 3115m will be available November 11th in North and South America only. More photos can be found here.
Subject: Editorial | October 19, 2011 - 05:29 PM | Josh Walrath
Tagged: sandy bridge, Q3 2011, Intel, earnings, bulldozer, atom, amd
This should come as a shock to no one. Intel made a lot of money this past quarter. We again have seen new records in both gross revenue and net income. GAAP revenue for the quarter came in at an astounding $14.2 billion. Essentially that is the net revenue for AMD during a three year span. Net income is again impressive at $3.5 billion. In AMD terms that would be gross revenue for three quarters. Truly there is a tremendous disparity between the two companies who are very bitter rivals. It is no wonder AMD is starting to really fall behind.
All of the internal groups, except for one, have shown tremendous growth over the past year. Notebooks have really lead the charge as of late, but both desktop and server markets have shown very favorable growth for the company. Even the McAfee and Intel Communications divisions provided upwards of $1 billion to the bottom line. The only area that Intel is lagging in is the Atom line.
When we look at the product offerings of Intel in server, desktop, and notebook markets we see they have a sizeable advantage in both process technology and performance per watt. Intel has been shipping 32 nm chips for well over a year and a half. On the desktop this has translated to modestly priced processors that have a much smaller die size yet comparable (and even superior) performance to the AMD products which are much larger in size and more expensive to produce. On the server side we really have not seen AMD make any inroads since Intel took over that market in a big way once they released the QPI based designs which took away AMD’s last architectural advantages; HyperTransport and integrated memory controllers.
Subject: Processors, Systems | June 12, 2011 - 08:57 PM | Tim Verry
Tagged: SFF, Intel, htpc, hd, DIY, atom
Habley has recently shown off a new small, embedded computer dubbed the SOM-6670E6XX. The new computer is the size of a post-it note; however, it sports an Atom E600 processor running at 1.0Gh as well as an integrated GMA600 graphics core. To be more specific, the motherboard in question measures 70mm x 70mm.
The CPU and GPU blend is able to support two displays and pipe two HD video streams to each. Using Media Player Class Home Cinema 1.5, the computer is able to play both a 1080p MPEG4 trailer of the X-Men First Class film and a HD FLV version of SpiderWic simultaneously. While playing both films, the CPU saw around 93% usage and 210 MB of RAM from the Windows Embedded 2009 operating system. Further, while playing an HD FLV film trailer while also watching an HD YouTube clip, the processor was again pegged at 93% usage; however, in this test the RAM usage was much higher, at 422 MB. The test system used, in addition to the SOM-6670, it consisted of a SOMB-073 Carrier board (which provides the various IO including video and audio output, mouse and keyboard input, and SATA ports), 1GB of on-board RAM, and a 5400RPM laptop form factor (2.5”) 120GB hard drive.
Including the two monitors, at 1280x768 (over HDMI) and 1920x1080 (SDVO) respectively, the system drew 18 watts during usage. You can see the test system of the small HD-capable computer in action in the video below. What uses do you have in mind for a micro-sized computer such as this?