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Print 21 comment(s) - last by StevoLincolnit.. on Mar 26 at 10:25 PM

New silicon is expected to land in 2013

While most tech fans are familiar with Haswell, Intel Corp.'s (INTC) upcoming early 2013 22 nm successor to the Sandy Bridge architecture, Intel's plans for Atom in 2013 were a bit hazier, although most assumed it had something to do with "22 nm" and "3D transistor".

 Now, thanks to a slide deck [1][2] published by Advantech and a set of open source graphics drivers [1][2] published by Intel and analyzed by Phoronix, there's now two sources of confirmation that Intel's 22 nm Atom offering will be named Valley View (or VWV, for short).  

VWV is part of a platform named Balboa Pier, which the slides indicate is a direct successor to CedarView, one of Intel's current mobile platforms.  The chip will apparently ditch the third party PowerVR graphics from Imagination Technologies plc (LON:IMG) and instead use Intel's own in-house integrated GPU, found in Ivy Bridge.  The Ivy Bridge GPU is estimated to be 20 to 50 percent faster than the GPU in Sandy Bridge, which in turn is more powerful than the old PowerVR chip.  

In other words, this will be a big bump graphics-wise -- a clear effort to keep up with Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s (AMD) graphics-centric approach to systems-on-a-chip.  Overall graphics perfromance is expected to see a 4x bump.  Intel engineer Jesse Barnes explains to a public mailing list (whoops!), "ValleyView is a CedarView-like chip but with an Ivybridge graphics core."

Valley View
[Image Source: Advantech]

The analysis of the graphics driver indicated that VWV will feature a Turbo Mode, although the implementation will differ from its 22 nm brothers, Haswell and Ivy Bridge.

A second slide indicates that VWV atoms will support up to four cores, 8 GB of DDR3 memory, and USB 3.0.

Sources: Intel via FreeDesktop [1], [2], Advantech [1], [2]



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Still in-order architecture?
By Pirks on 3/23/2012 9:44:13 PM , Rating: 2
Anyone?




RE: Still in-order architecture?
By vignyan on 3/23/12, Rating: 0
RE: Still in-order architecture?
By phatboye on 3/24/2012 12:32:24 AM , Rating: 4
it matters because AMD will have released by then it's out-of-order Piledriver based APU's. While AMD is not a huge threat on the Mobile Phone/ Tablet space it's Piledriver architechure will be a huge threat to Intel's Ultrabook/Netbook space.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By Manch on 3/24/2012 4:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
AMD has the brazos apus, specifically the zacate. Google built a beta of ICS specifically for this apu.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By Jeremy87 on 3/24/2012 11:38:19 AM , Rating: 4
Piledriver APU (aka Trinity) won't go into netbooks.
Atom won't go into ultrabooks.
These two will never compete with each other.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By nafhan on 3/26/2012 10:58:35 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
These two will never compete with each other.
I wouldn't be so quick to make that assumption.
Ideally, they won't compete with each other, but ideally, OEM's wouldn't put Brazos in a 15.6" chassis, either...


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/24/2012 2:56:24 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It will be a win if it performs even 10% better at like 50% of power reduction.


I would much rather a 50% performance increase at a 10% power reduction, but that's just me. The current Atom chips are just horrible speed-wise.

I ended up buying a Broadcom Crystal HD chip to whack in my Intel Atom tablet just so I could play back HD content smoothly; as my Atom n470+GMA 3150 just wasn't up to the task.

Running Windows and having a full fledged browser loaded up with plugins and tabs is far more demanding than a Phone/Tablet OS and the stripped down browsers that they use.
So even though Atom may be faster than Arm... They can get away with it by having far more efficient and simpler software and Operating systems to conserve on processing.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By apinkel on 3/24/2012 6:49:09 AM , Rating: 1
I understood the low priced appeal of netbooks but the atom was and is too underpowered to serve as the basis for a general purpose laptop. Intel has continued to improve power and integration of Atom without doing much of anything in the performance department so it's obvious they intend it to be a phone/tablet part as opposed to a laptop part.

If you want a dirt cheap laptop/netbook, go with AMD's APU based chips. If you want a full power laptop go with a low voltage or standard voltage intel mobile chip.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By rs2 on 3/25/2012 7:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
If you're trying to us an Atom chip for consumer-level things like watching HD content on a tablet then the issue is just user error. Put simply, you're doing it wrong.

These little chips are awesome for running low-power, low-volume, silent, always-on headless-server boxes. For instance, things like home file servers, or hosting lightly trafficked websites/blogs/webapps. I've got 4 or 5 different server instances running on my Atom box. It uses a scant 20W of power (so half a kilowatt or about 10 cents a day) to operate, and still provides more performance than I actually need.

If you're finding that the Atom is too slow for watching HD video, then the problem isn't with the Atom, it's with the fact that you're trying to use an Atom to play back HD video in the first place.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By StevoLincolnite on 3/25/2012 11:04:13 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If you're trying to us an Atom chip for consumer-level things like watching HD content on a tablet then the issue is just user error. Put simply, you're doing it wrong.


I'm really not. If a phone can play back HD content then surely a low-powered x86 platform should be capable of it?
Ion, Brazos can all do it and they too are low powered platforms.
Conversely an Atom chip paired up with a Broadcom Crystal HD can do it too.

Then you have Media centers which run on Atom which are dedicated to playing back Video and Audio.

It just so happens that Intel has paired most Atom chips with the horrible GMA 950/3150 which is incapable of doing anything actually useful.
Conversely the GMA 3150 in most atoms is based on the GMA 900/950 architecture anyhow which debuted with the Pentium 4 7 years ago.

Support for playing back HD content should have been there from the start in my opinion.

quote:
It uses a scant 20W of power (so half a kilowatt or about 10 cents a day) to operate, and still provides more performance than I actually need.


Half a kilowatt = 500 watts.
That's great it suits your needs.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By BSMonitor on 3/26/2012 8:44:56 AM , Rating: 2
Again your opinion is notable, but most MOST netbook users aren't trying to playback 1080p movies in x264. That is not the intended audience.

Again, you are choosing the wrong platform for the application.

Thanks, come again.


By StevoLincolnite on 3/26/2012 10:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
No, but I bet a large majority of the average Joe's do try and watch Youtube on them, which aren't hardware accelerated.

Hardware acceleration also brings along longer battery life as the processor is able to power down.
If Intel can have hardware acceleration in the GMA 500 (Which is a 3rd party graphics chip design.) Then surely it can implement the same functionality in it's current chips.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By GuinnessKMF on 3/26/2012 8:53:39 AM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point. HD content, or any graphics driven usage mode, is exactly what this wasn't designed for.

You can't just say "If a phone can do it, a low powered x86 can do it" (phones can also make phone calls, I don't want my i7 to cost more because they itegrated some wireless radio processor in there). There's a reason that graphics cards are dedicated add on processors, it takes a lot of silicon and a lot of energy to meet some people's needs in the graphics department, and integrating to the highest uncommon denominator would defeat the purpose.


By StevoLincolnite on 3/26/2012 10:25:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
You're missing the point. HD content, or any graphics driven usage mode, is exactly what this wasn't designed for.


The target Audience was cheap and low powered netbooks and nettops for the average joe; as that was the craze that was happening at the time. - Most peoples expectations is that it should be capable of playing video, HD or Youtube.

quote:
You can't just say "If a phone can do it, a low powered x86 can do it" (phones can also make phone calls, I don't want my i7 to cost more because they itegrated some wireless radio processor in there).


Sure I can say it. Phones have lower transistor and thermal budgets, if they can do it, then surely a low powered x86 platform can too.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By Springfield45 on 3/24/2012 12:41:04 AM , Rating: 2
It is expected to be in order. Intel has long been saying that the first significant new architecture for Atom will be when it transitions to 14nm.
It will probably not be faster than the AMD low power chips. However, the low power AMD chips will probably be an order of magnitude higher on power consumption as well. Everyone likes to compare the performance of the two, but they honestly are not even in the same class, thermally.
Oh well. Such is life.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By eilersr on 3/24/2012 6:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
Got any sources for that? That'd be unfortunate if Intel decided not make a big change to their Atom architecture yet again. I'd be surprised if they made such a decision given all the chest-beating they've been doing about taking on the low power market...


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By someguy123 on 3/24/2012 10:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
You're talking different markets. Intel is attempting to gradually get atom's power envelope close to ARM. x86 bloat keeps it above ARM in draw, but the x86 hit to the die becomes less of an issue as you scale down nodes and add finfet.

AMD's APUs compete with intel's laptop/ultrabook processors. For average tasks they're probably the better solution in performance and draw, though their cpu performance is substantially worse.


RE: Still in-order architecture?
By lol123 on 3/25/2012 12:08:20 PM , Rating: 2
Silvermont will be the first out-of-order Atom microarchitecture and will arrive on 22nm in 2013, as reported by Anandtech and others almost a year ago. Airmont will be the 14nm shrink of Silvermont and is scheduled for 2014.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4333/intels-silvermo...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4345/intels-2011-inv...


Orange County CA inspires Atom Name Scheme?
By CJRalls on 3/25/2012 6:38:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm... I grew up next to Valley View St in Garden Grove CA, and spent the summers hanging out at Balboa Pier in Newport Beach. Coincidence?




By Iketh on 3/26/2012 4:08:21 AM , Rating: 3
yes


64bit Atom
By plamengv_ on 3/26/2012 1:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Which means it will be the first 64-bit Atom. Wonderful.




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