Disagree that interconnect power is at a scale that compares with CPU power. CPUs are very much the highest power consuming circuits on the die by a huge margin. The interconnect discussions of NOC vs. Ring again is confusing things. NOCs are used to connect to peripheral interfaces and IP. NOCs are not coherent by definition. The Rings that Intel uses are for the coherent CPU interconnect.
Reducing the CPU power has the biggest bang for the buck while still maintaining performance. Adding CPUs to the die increases the power linearly but the interconnect power increase is less than linear.
"the point is that pie is already divided and the ARM is going after a piece that is already covered by Intel, which is already on its 2nd-generation Atom microserver chip before ARM is even out of the gate."
That's an interesting rewrite of history... Calxeda has had its ARM servers out for well over a year now, and that was before Intel even announced Centerton, let alone shipped it! Note Calxeda has its 2nd generation out as well.
I also don't agree that the x86 penalty is low - if that were true then why is AMD having such a hard time keeping up with Intel while a dozen of small outfits can design fast and efficient ARM cores which are challenging Intel? Even Intel took a very long time to come up with an Atom replacement, and it ended up being a simple 2-way core (as 3/4-way is too power hungry on x86).
Wilco1: Please show your evidence that shows A7 performed better than Intel's, either through the transistor physics or the architecture ALU layout in the chip. Please don't put out any alleged information that is non-scientific and no basis.
Remember this is 18W for a 3GHz octo core at 40nm. A 22nm C2750 runs at 2.4GHz, uses 20W and cannot achieve anywhere near the same performance (X-Gene should have better than Cortex-A57 performance, while we already know Silvermont is slower than Cortex-A15 clock for clock).
So it looks like Avoton will be beaten by a huge margin on performance and power efficiency despite having the advantage of 2 process generations. Now imagine a next-generation X-gene at TSMC 20nm...
Did I read correctly the ARM offering was going to be 18watts (4x4.5)? Not exactly low power. Any anaylsis on building more chassis to house more processors that are less capable from a reliability point of view?