SAN FRANCISCO—Intel Corp. Monday (May 7) described its new low-power, high-performance microarchitecture, dubbed Silvermont, which will form foundation of 22-nm Atom SoCs available later this year.
Intel (Santa Clara, Calif.) said the Silvermont takes aim at the low-power requirements in market segments from smartphones to data centers. The Silvermont chips that will come to market later this year will be built on Intel's 22-nm process technology with tri-gates (also known as FinFETs), Intel said.
"Silvermont is a leap forward and an entirely new technology foundation for the future that will address a broad range of products and market segments," said Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer, in a statement.
Perlmutter said early sampling of Intel's 22-nm SoCs, including Bay Trail and Avoton SoCs, is already getting positive feedback from customers. "Going forward, we will accelerate future generations of this low-power microarchitecture on a yearly cadence," Perlmutter said.
Intel claims the Silvermont architecture delivers industry-leading performance-per-watt efficiency—a bold claim considering that ARM-based SoCs are generally regarded to have an significant power efficiency advantages when compared with Intel's X86 chips.
According to Intel, the wide dynamic range of Silvermont makes it more efficient than asymmetric cores.
According to Intel, compared to the current-generation Atom processor core, Silvermont delivers about 3X peak performance or the same performance at about 5X power over a variety of standard metrics.
Silvermont was designed and co-optimized with Intel's 22-nm SoC process using tri-gate transistors, Intel said. The chip firm claims the process offers a significant performance increase and improved energy efficiency.
"Through our design and process technology co-optimization we exceeded our goals for Silvermont," said Belli Kuttanna, Intel Fellow and chief architect.
"By taking advantage of our strengths in microarchitecture development and leading-edge process technology, we delivered a technology package that enables significantly improved performance and power efficiency–all while delivering higher frequencies," Kuttanna said.
Intel is about to diversify ATOM into many derivatives all of which are capable on their performance too displace Xeon E3, and Performance Mobile, if only the application’s software, and the internal politics of democratic capitalism. Lest not the antitrust considerations; Areeda Turner for one.
So it’s important to understand on overhead that Intel cannot afford to produce any of these ATOM products. Which is why their dice size are increasing by feature set to offer price/performance levels capable of yielding a displacement product’s margin potential on their cost price ratio. This evolution takes into account much more than that old standby which is ever larger L2 caches.
Dice that are less than 100 mm2 impose a financial burden on Intel; economically, if their performance does not equate to a price point that offsets their long run cost.
Intel’s fully burdened cost of production for a dual core microprocessor is no less than $0.24 per mm2, and for Quads averages in the $0.33 mm2 range. Multi core, large cache, many metal layers cost more which is why they are currently fabricated through run down. Where ATOM, up until now appears to be wafer starts run end.
The marginal cost of 20.833 Million ATOMs produced Sandy run end through Ivy ramp is $2.16. But this is not a cost in the typical view; it is an opportunity cost to produce or not to produce. That is because that $2.16 actually represents $18.10 in lost revenue, over the production long run, subsidized by all other products that do make a profit. The average marginal revenue loss from this opportunity cost is $15.95 or for a 62 mm2 device, $0.25 per mm2.
Mike Bruzzone, Camp Marketing
Yes, Chinese dual cores are around $5, quad around $9. These are Cortex-A7 or Cortex-A9 based and run at 1.0-1.2GHz. Not top performance of course but more than fast enough for mid-range phones and tablets.
I found the analysis very interesting. A lot of the applications will depend upon the support tools that Intel provides to support the chips. If they can do as well as Cypress has on their PSOC, then Intel might have a verying interesting device.
Reading this article, Silvermont is "better" "best-in-class" "better dynamic range", "well positioned to enable great products and experiences across the full spectrum of computing" ....
Fluff marketing as usual. Does anyone have real benchmark/ measured power /cost information?
If they could place these when they come out @ $20 in 1X on Avnet.com @ 3 watts I would be shocked... I think that price and power cuts are the only way to dent the embedded market... Until then it's not possible... Current atom processors are $30-60 in that range, and more for the newer ones... It might as well be in a PC with that cost... The most popular ARM are dual core 1 watt CPUs... In fact 300mW-700mW is the battery powered pocket device range... You could still get by on 1 watt at that range but you will probably have to charge a lot ( unless you use a laptop battery system, power bricks, which by that time you're not in the low power segment, you're using a laptop processor by then. )... Complete opposite in the device world is an altera max II z which is actually considered a 'zero-power' device in the embedded market... In the PC world though people think low power is 10-65 watts... It's a far cry from low power. It's more of a metaphorical/consumer/box sticker term for customers of tablets/laptops. I mean everyone loves to see the words low power, but it's not necessarily that easy to explain... I personally feel risky going over 3 watts. If my CPU is over 3 watts then I will look at the block diagram and see if the features are important. As soon as it's up to 10 watts it should be on par with low-end PC or people will buy a laptop or something else instead...
You're shameless to the extreme,INTEL 22 Indeed not perfect, such as thermal issues but from snb to ivb , DIE SIZE 216MM--160MM TDP 95W-77W, The main purpose is reached,A15 Touches was a disaster,TI IS OVER,
Valleyview = atom with ivy bridge graphics.
Per Anand (link below) and intel executives have also made this statement.
....point being ---silly this article and many articles think this is viable for smartphone.
No question performance is great but that is meaningless when using too much silicon area to sell for smartphone asp.