Some details about Avoton can be found on page two of this story:
Intel revealed that Avoton, a.k.a. the C2000, will include eight Silvermont-class 64-bit Atom cores. It also integrates four Gbit Ethernet controllers, four serial ATA 2.0 controllers, two SATA 1.0 controllers, four controllers supporting 16-lanes of PCI Express Gen 2, and support for DDR3 memory. A related SoC for storage systems called Rangely will include a crypto accelerator using Intel's Quick Assist technology.
I think one interesting point here is that we don't know whether the custom chips for eBay and Facebook were designed from scratch. Because if so, that's a lot of work. I am sure Intel was comensated handsomely for it. But I note that Waxman made it clear that buiilding off-the-shelf chips remains Intel's primary focus, obviously. But I would worry that these custom projects could make Intel take it's eye off the ball.
I think this is taking ASIC and embededded electronics but in this casem the ASIC is a monstrous processor. That customization must be a trade secret for Intel which has no serious competitor in this trade.
Intel can decide to pack chips inside a processor and then decide to activate the one that will work based on how much a customer pays. With the cost of the transistor minimal, there is no reason they cannot do this.
>> But I would worry that these custom projects could make Intel take it's eye off the ball.
Very curious to know what the ball is here. The future of our industry is all about customization and individualism. From medical device to chips, that is where the world is going. There is no reason wht eBay and Shell will need the same type of server. If Intel can offer them unique products, I think that is a good strategy.