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Forget about 10 Watt processors; Intel's got plans for entire systems that fit in that thermal envelope

To quote Richard Feynman, "there's plenty of room at the bottom," and the microprocessor market is no exception. Although high performance is what captured Intel's attention for the past few years, the company is now aggressively targeting the low cost chip market, which holds immense potential and to this day remains largely uncultivated.

Intel’s most recent roadmap reveals more information about the company’s newest ultra-low cost, ultra-low voltage platform, Diamondville.

To set the record straight, Diamondville does not refer simply to low power CPUs, but in fact also refers to an entire platform. This is because Diamondville processors will come soldered directly onto specially designed boards.
According Intel partner roadmaps leaked to DailyTech, its Diamondville line of processors are based on a completely new architecture drawn up on a “blank sheet of paper.” Intel plans to release two versions of its Diamondville processors, one for desktops and the other for mobile platforms.

Intel’s first Diamondville chips are expected to be released towards the end of Q2’08. At this time, the company will launch the single-core Diamondville-SC 230, which is meant for desktop use, and the Diamondville-SC: 270, which is for use in mobile platforms. Both of these chips have very similar technical specifications, and will run at 1.60 GHz and feature 512KB cache.

Intel guidance suggests that the first dual-core Diamondville chips will launch under the Celeron 3xx SKU. These new chips are expected to be targeted for desktop use only and will make an appearance in Q3’08.

Diamondville processors have a mere 4W to 8W thermal envelope, and are heralded for fan-less design. Intel also boasts that a number of its “leading ODM” partners support Diamondville, so we can expect to see plenty of new products developed based on these chips.

The success of products such as ASUS’ Eee PC has proven to companies that there is plenty of opportunity in the low cost market. Despite only offering modest technical specifications, the Eee PC has proven to be somewhat of a hit in the United States and not only in emerging markets as was expected prior to its release. Processors like Diamondville will help add growth to the low cost PC market not only abroad, but also in the United States.

Already the major notebook designers have realized that the bottom of the chip market is just as important as the top.

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By PeterT on 2/27/2008 4:19:38 PM , Rating: 3
This could make an interesting combo for use as a Windows Home Server server.... Low power consumption...

By TheDiceman on 2/27/2008 4:28:04 PM , Rating: 4
I see en even better market in business desktops. Assuming you are still running under XP drop a gig of RAM into a board like this and you have a very cheap, low form factor setup very capible for general business use.

By fic2 on 2/27/2008 7:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree on this. Companies that have 1000s of PCs in an office could save some serious money. Probably 50-100w savings per PC.

By Mitch101 on 2/27/2008 4:29:41 PM , Rating: 5
I agree my current one is 23watts Via CPU but I bet the Intel one would crush the Via in performance.

At 10 Watts Im anxiously awaiting a lineup of car computers.

By herrdoktor330 on 2/28/2008 11:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to say this, but a gnome with an abacus would outperform the VIA C-7 platform. And I should know... I ponied up for a 1.5gtz 2500e cpu/mobo. While it's not bad for what it does (serve files), it's not a performer. I'm sure the intel product would be more powerful.

I guess it boils down to price. If they can break the 60$ mark and offer a couple more SATA ports or PCI slots (for RAID cards), this would be an awesome part for the home file server people. But until then, I think VIA is going to be king of that market.

By Ashrac on 2/27/2008 6:12:26 PM , Rating: 3
This is also very good for Car Pc's.

By FingerMeElmo87 on 2/29/2008 1:14:15 PM , Rating: 2
to bad Windows Home Server corrupts data

Crysis comments...
By Messudieh on 2/27/2008 4:50:29 PM , Rating: 4
I can't believe the first 2 comments (by time), and a lot of the subsequent discussion about this product were dealing with running Crysis.

Not only are they terrible jokes, but some of the comments seemed legitimate!

Get your markets correct people, seriously...

RE: Crysis comments...
By cokbun on 2/27/2008 11:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
this is great for office pc's and off course laptops that last for more hours, it can be used for a lot of stuffs , mild 3d modelling, 2d animations, designs etc,considering i've used pc that are weaker than this one, and even to play some pc games that doesnt require too much gpu power. as for crysis.. well yeah it is stupid, like how many more first person shooter game would you need anyway.

Render Cluster
By greylica on 2/27/2008 7:47:25 PM , Rating: 1
The first thing that came into my mind is if the entire system will run at only 10W.
32 X 1.6 GHZ with 2GB DDR2 is not bad for a cluster node. The primary concern is if the processor can recognize PAE for Memory as well.
The second concern is if there is a kind of fast interconnect like GBe, But GBe consumes a lot, what kind of interconnect for clusters is better suited for lower wattage (1 Watt any ?) ?
The third is if that kind of processor haves a good FPU.

Let´s wait for benchs...

RE: Render Cluster
By IntelUser2000 on 2/28/2008 1:42:02 AM , Rating: 2
The primary concern is if the processor can recognize PAE for Memory as well.

PAE?? Like to extend the memory beyond 4GB limitation on 32-bit?? Well, the another version of the core, Silverthorne, will have same 64-bit as Intel's desktop/laptop CPUs. I don't know if Diamondville will have one though(probably yes I presume).

RE: Render Cluster
By greylica on 2/28/2008 6:50:30 AM , Rating: 2
Well, older Pentium II has PAE enabled in hardware (40 or 48 bit memory adress, with 3% performance penalties due to conversion, but the chipset makers capped them. Intel makes an ugly I815 for Pentium III with 512MB limitation with 3 slots of memory :>( ), and the problem here is the memory window for the app itself, but there is workarounds.
If those little machines can be interconnected, even with an hit in the performance due to latency, and if it can see an mem window for the app with 4GB, it´s sufficient for a software render cluster.
We already tried with geode, but the processor is poorly slow, we had more success with k6II and soyo boards than with geode, but the latency kill the system and the energy saving doesn´t worth.

Mac Mini
By Doormat on 2/27/2008 11:18:38 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if we see Apple sticking these into a Mac Mini. Assuming they're cheap enough and still perform well enough to run a full OS like XP or OSX.

The WHS idea is great too - my current WHS box sucks up 55W 24/7/365 so if I could get that down to 25W (10W system, 7.5W x 2 for the HDDs) I'd be happy.

RE: Mac Mini
By joemoedee on 2/28/2008 6:58:11 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if we see Apple sticking these into a Mac Mini. Assuming they're cheap enough and still perform well enough to run a full OS like XP or OSX.

I'd hope it could run XP well, considering XP needs only a 233mhz CPU. :)

I'd also bet that the price will be much lower than that of the parts in the Mac Mini. Mini runs a Core2 Duo, whereas this is to be a Celeron replacement. A $299 Mac Mini perhaps?

By random git on 2/27/2008 4:55:28 PM , Rating: 2
This is just what the developing markets need. A cheap to acquire and use no-nonsense computer to bridge the technology gap.

Good thing they went their own way instead of staying with the OLPC consortium. The OLPC is for kids and what do you call gadgets made solely for kids? That's right, toys.

By mobutu on 2/27/2008 6:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
what a hell diamondville has to do with that stupid game???

Can you say...
By lobadobadingdong on 2/27/2008 7:18:31 PM , Rating: 2
Perfect thin clients?

More info?
By FrankM on 2/27/2008 8:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Is this supposed to be the successor of D201GLY2's Cel220 and SiS chipset? Why then is it's picture next to the article? What features will the NB, integrated graphics and SB have? Some more info, please?

By EricMartello on 2/29/2008 2:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
The pic of the board shows the 20+4 pin configuration, and while that 20-pin connector is an AT standard, the +4 added on to support high-power onboard devices, like the newer why would they bother wasting board space with that connector when it isn't necessary. They should just design a small low-power connector, or just use the 4-pin connector by itself.

VIA's solution is still better
By craghack on 3/2/2008 4:07:52 AM , Rating: 2
VIA Isaiah CPU + S3 Graphics Chrome 430GT video and their own motherboard standard is still better offer. 430GT is equal to GF8400 or HD3400.

maybe I'll wait
By Oroka on 3/2/2008 10:08:38 AM , Rating: 2
I have been planning on building a micro ITX server out of a Intel D201GLY2, but if this system has even less power usage, ,aybe it would be worth waiting.

Forget about Crysis...
By Amiga500 on 2/29/08, Rating: 0
Just in time
By LTG on 2/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just in time
By SlipDizzy on 2/27/2008 4:17:48 PM , Rating: 1
So you want to build a "gaming rig" that is based on a "ultra-low cost, ultra-low voltage platform" that runs at 1.6ghz on a single core and has 512kb of cache?

Did you buy that copy of Crysis as a joke or do you plan on using it as an expensive coaster?

RE: Just in time
By rudolphna on 2/27/2008 4:28:44 PM , Rating: 2
completely. I cant run crysis decently on my 3Ghz Pentium 4 PC....That draws 84 watts for the processor ALONE. All together the whole thing draws just under 300 watts at the outlet. (good thing cuz my psu is only 305 lol) Its not going to happen. If you notice, there is only a single PCI slot, which will not handle any decent graphics card. This is meant for people who do web browsing, have a very low budget, and dont want to have a high electric bill. combined with a 3.5" Hdd that whole system will probably draw no more than 50 watts of power. Thats the kind of computer my grandparents would like, All they need to do is check email, do bills, and browse the internet. In addition to Bejewled, which runs fine on her AMD K6 300mhz. So yes, there is a market for these.

RE: Just in time
By matriarch wolf on 2/27/2008 4:38:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure it will gain acceptance and wide use, especially for companies wanting to cut electrical costs over a large number of systems. I just look at this as more evidence that intel is not going to let AMD garner any part of the market. That's actually smart on their part as AMD would slowly but surely turn any market it's the majority player in into something very big for themselves. At this point though, it looks like more rain clouds are parking over AMD, and that's sad, cause I prefer AMD. :-)

RE: Just in time
By Orihara on 2/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Just in time
By Souka on 2/27/2008 6:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
but this isn't about Video card power.... at a sub 10w for the system, you ain't getting any 3d performance...maybe not even acceleration.

My work T60 (2.0Ghz C2D w/3GB of ram, ATI x1500 512mb video) played the Crysis demo at like 2-3 640x480.

Well come to think of it, it might not have even launched...can't remember now....

RE: Just in time
By murphyslabrat on 2/27/2008 8:28:22 PM , Rating: 2
My work T60 (2.0Ghz C2D w/3GB of ram, ATI x1500 512mb video) played the Crysis demo at like 2-3 640x480.

Dude, your video-quality settings need some serious tweaking. There is no way that, with those specs, you shouldn't be able to get at least 40 FPS.

RE: Just in time
By AlphaVirus on 2/27/2008 9:09:16 PM , Rating: 2
Either he should tweak his settings, check his computer for a deeper issue or perhaps he is lying.

RE: Just in time
By IntelUser2000 on 2/28/2008 1:39:43 AM , Rating: 2
but this isn't about Video card power.... at a sub 10w for the system, you ain't getting any 3d performance...maybe not even acceleration.

The chipset is named 945GSE, so it uses a variant of Intel's GMA 950 graphics. I guess you can consider it acceleration.

RE: Just in time
By zshift on 2/27/2008 7:27:08 PM , Rating: 1
hm...not even close. even a current quad core cpu setup with integrated graphics can't run crysis at 800x840 at 10 fps.

By nerdye on 2/27/08, Rating: -1
RE: Crisis?
By rsasp on 2/27/2008 4:10:03 PM , Rating: 2
uhh I doubt that thing can run crysis, but it is certainly a great news for people that travels a lot.

RE: Crisis?
By jtemplin on 2/27/2008 5:07:29 PM , Rating: 2
Um not only will this run Crysis it will run it at least 4x faster than any other platform out there. What...are you living under a bucket or something? Sheesh!

RE: Crisis?
By Scrogneugneu on 2/27/2008 10:53:22 PM , Rating: 2
What...are you living under a bucket or something

I live in a giant bucket.

RE: Crisis?
By jtemplin on 2/28/2008 8:23:54 AM , Rating: 2
Tuesdays coming...did you bring a raincoat

I am the queen of france

My spoon is TOOO big!

RE: Crisis?
By Hare on 2/27/2008 4:24:04 PM , Rating: 2
Just imagine using one of these for a nice compact HTPC / Home server...

RE: Crisis?
By BrownJohn on 2/27/2008 4:57:13 PM , Rating: 2
yeah, or in a future itteration of the eeePC

RE: Crisis?
By TerranMagistrate on 2/27/2008 8:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
Of course there's a market for this like in Africa or Southeast Asia. Think poor third world countries.

Or perhaps that suggestion to think is a bit too much to ask for...

RE: Crisis?
By murphyslabrat on 2/27/2008 8:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, I would love this. I am already eying a build based around an embedded Celeron 220 board:

As is, I can get a complete working computer for $300. That includes a monitor.

RE: Crisis?
By rhangman on 2/27/2008 9:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
The above pictured board is actually a D201GLY2 (the board mentioned above). I have one right here and it is 100% identical. So any of the comments about PCI slots, RAM, etc. don't really apply to upcoming boards since they could have PCI-e, more RAM slots, etc.

The D201GLY2 was already marketed to "Help connect the next billion users". So this is really just more of a push from Intel in that direction.

RE: Crisis?
By cokbun on 2/27/2008 11:39:12 PM , Rating: 2
or to people who just dont need all that extra ghz to do their stuffs. like me and my flash animations. i'm absolutely gonna buy this stuff. but there's one thing i dont understand, will this be a dual core celeron? a celeron 2 duo ?

RE: Crisis?
By Joz on 3/3/2008 1:46:03 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the already existing Celeron-DC (dualcore)?

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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