As usual neither AMD nor Intel had any comments to pass onto DigiTimes about processors they have yet to release but the chances are that this story is fairly accurate. In March we should start hearing more about Cherry Trail, Intel's 64-bit ultramobile CPU designed for the next generation of tablets. AMD will be working on two chips, Nolan which we know very little about apart from the fact that it will be used in tablets and a new chip called Amur. Amur is an HSA chip designed specifically for use in devices running Android and Linux and incorporates ARM architecture, specifically the Cortex A57. That puts it in the Seattle family which Josh went into detail about in his article here which will make it a rather interesting product.
"Intel's Cherry Trail CPUs will enter mass production in March 2015. Intel is also preparing the Atom Z3000 processor for the 64-bit tablet market. As for 4G chips, Intel is set to use SoFIA-series processors for the tablet market, the sources said."
Here is some more Tech News from around the web:
- Microsoft's Windows 10 Preview has permission to watch your every move @ The Inquirer
- One Windows? How does that work… and WTF is a Universal App? @ The Register
- VMWare virtually in control of Shellshock @ The Register
- IBM teams with Nvidia to launch Power Systems server based on Openpower Foundation @ The Inquirer
- Assorted Fun Linux Command Line Hacks @ Linux.com
I think I’m more excited for
I think I’m more excited for Cherry Trail than Core-M. Vastly different price segments, but very similar gains in perf/watt, especially GPU.
“Amur is an HSA chip designed
“Amur is an HSA chip designed specifically for use in devices running Android and Linux and incorporates ARM architecture, specifically the Cortex A57.”
Great stopgap AMD, BUT the custom ARMv8 cores run: Apple A7/A8 at least 6 IPC, while the Nvidia Denver will do 7+ IPC, and the ARM reference design A57 only 3 IPC. Nolan better damn well be your custom ARMv8 ISA based answer to the A8, and Nvidia Denver, or you will be too far behind. I hope you can at least have 6 of those A57 reference cores, but 8 would be better, on a smaller process node. And Damn ARM holdings, you better get your reference ARMv8 cores on a more wide order superscalar footing, than the 3 IPC they are now, it’s either that, or SMT, before the licensed power8s begin to eat your lunch, along with x86’s dinner. It’s a whole hell of a lot easier to take a RISC design like the power8, that already has SMT, and scale it down, than to take any current ARM holdings RISC designs, and engineer the SMT from scratch. And there will be derivatives of the licensed powre8 cores, scaled down into the desktop/laptop space, and maybe the Tablet space also, its just a matter of modularity and scalability with the on die cores, and SMT functional blocks, Power8 and others. The licensed IP market is more than Just ARM, it includes MIPS, others, and now Power8(One hell of a RISC based BEAST, and scalable at that, in more ways than just core count alone). Watch out ARM, those Apple and P.A. semiconductor folks, God Smacked you with their custom Cyclone microarchitecture, That custom runs your ARMv8 ISA, those P.A. semiconductor folks have an Alpha pedigree that goes way back, and they sure could slice up the Power8 into a whole line of SKUs, and Apple owns them. Nvidia is not lacking in SOC talent, also, and the graphics side is already ahead, of even apple/Imagination Tec. in the SOC market, except for GPU integrated ray tracing(PowerVR wizard). The Power8 IP is coming, in licensed form beginning in 2015.
Intel could make a killing
Intel could make a killing making tablets
Intel is spending billions in
Intel is spending billions in contra revenue to get into some Phone/tablets into the market, and how is that working so far! Nvidia K1(ARM 32 bit reference design based, and Custom Denver based) is way ahead of the competition in GPU ability, Apple has the A8, and maybe the A8X for tablets, so where is the need for Intel, in anything but an overpriced Tablet. Intel is never going to use its top end graphics in a low cost tablet/phone SKU, and even Intel’s highest priced graphics, fails to best Nvidia’s and AMD’s graphics.
Intel, or AMD will not be able to wring out enough power savings with the x86 CISC design, while any RISC based designs, with their simpler instruction sets, have the majority of the mobile devices market. And the Power8 server chips already beat Xeon chips in performance, and the power8, are up for ARM style licensing, so expect an entire range of Power8 based SKUs to begin appearing over the next few years [NOT MADE BY IBM] from many different licensees, SKU that will power Servers, and most likely PC and laptops. You saw how Apple took the ARMv8 ISA only, and taped out a completely custom microarchitecture that can run the ARMv8 ISA, same goes for the custom Nvidia Denver K1 core. AMD is behind, but will catch up with some Custom ARM based APUs of there own(AMD is currently only using ARM reference designs, while it works on its custom ARMv8 ISA running APU for late 2015-16). AMD, Nvidia, Apple, and a few others, have the in-house engineering teams, with the skillsets to take the Powre8 reference design and derive any number of device SKUs across the entire devices market. The Power8 IP/ISA is up for licensing through the OpenPower foundation, and the power8 core design already supports SMT(up to 8 threads per core), so even ARM Holdings designs are at a disadvantage to power8, as BOTH ARM and Power8 are RISC based designs, as well as the original RISC MIPS. Just look at the membership of the OpenPower foundation, Google is there, and Google is testing out Power8, and google has the money to by a power8 license, and the money to hire top engineers to integrate the power8 into its server farms, Google designs its servers, it will be Licensing the Power8 reference design(Already more powerful than Xeon), and having globalfoundries, or Samsung fab, the power8 CPU, and not have to purchase from Intel, or AMD.
The Next Few years, are going very interesting, as more CPU designs begin to appear based on licensed ARM, Power8, MIPS, and others custom, and reference designs. Nvidia does not need to hope for an x86 license, when it can get a power8 license from OpenPower, AMD could also, just like AMD has an ARM license. The entire range of devices market will be available as licensable IP/ISAs for ARM on the low end UP to Power8 on the server/HPC/supercomputer end. And do not preclude MIPS, as Imagination technologies will be making SOC around the MIPS microarchitecture and Imagination’s PowerVR GPUs. Don’t you just love the smell of competition.
P.S. No one would need to completely customize the Power8 microarchitecture or reference design, as any customization would only entail some reducing of modular CPU core blocks, SMT core blocks, etc. to make a complete line of SKUs from servers to laptops/PC, and even tablets and phones. RICS microarchitectures can run servers/supercomputers down to toasters and watches, and scale across the range better than CISC based CPUs.
Personally, I think the pace
Personally, I think the pace of Intel is too slow. Baytrail has not satisfactory performance and power efficiency.