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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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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.

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