Today's podcast covers two major topics: the rumored BGA-only version of Intel's Broadwell (2014/2015) CPU and Qualcomm's disclosures at its recent analyst day. The Broadwell BGA topic spawned a pretty big discussion about the future of the DIY desktop PC market, including speculation about the return of software unlockable CPU upgrades. On the Qualcomm side, Brian gives us the first details of the upcoming Krait 300 core.

The AnandTech Podcast - Episode 12
featuring Anand Shimpi, Brian Klug & Dr. Ian Cutress

iTunes
RSS - mp3m4a
Direct Links - mp3m4a

Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes

Outline - hh:mm

Broadwell BGA Discussion - 00:00
Qualcomm Updates - 00:52

As always, comments are welcome and appreciated. 

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  • Kevin G - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    Re-listening to this at work had me catch another tidbit. Around the 29 minute market the pod cast is discussing the concept of 'board of boards'. A couple of things to throw out there.

    Both Intel and IBM are going to be moving to optical interconnects for high servers shortly. Both have shown off prototypes and IBM had plans to ship a POWER7 box for HPC usage using optical interconnects between chassis to create a single coherent node. Due to costs, I have no idea if this technology will scale down to consumer levels due to costs, but this would be a means to implement that board of board ideas.

    Also why not have a 'universal' socket for both CPU, GPU and CPU+GPU chips with on package memory? Essentially taking AMD's HSA idea and scaling it out. Depending on user needs, a quad socket board could have four CPU chips for legacy server workloads or one CPU + three GPU chips for gaming or four CPU+GPU chips for HPC workloads. This would be great for consumers if any company could pull this off. Alas I can only see AMD doing this realistically and the effort would be suicidal considering the current state of the company.

    The other thing to factor in with on package memory is that not only will you have differing CPU strengths on different class motherboard but also the amount of memory would be another axis. So a low end motherboard would have a low end processor and a small amount of memory. Compare this to a high end motherboard with lots of IO, a high end CPU and lots of memory.

    Another thing worth mentioning is that IO will become a distinguishing feature between desktop and mobile SoC's. I'd expect the desktop versions to come with more SATA ports, more PCI-E lanes, more USB ports etc. despite using the same die. Packaging will obviously be different. Desktop chips will also be able to run the IO at higher speeds (PCI-E 3.0 on the desktop vs. 2.0 in mobile, USB 3.0 on the desktop vs. USB 2.0 in mobile).
    Reply
  • Paulman - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    Another podcast, and so quickly, too! I like.

    When it rains, it pours... I managed to score a "Ships in 1-2 weeks" Nexus 4 16GB order here in Canada today, too :) They went on sale at 3PM EST / 12 noon PST today.
    Reply
  • asphyxxiate - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    Hey guys, glad you're keeping up with the podcast schedule!

    A note about the audio levels: they're really low, at least on the iTunes M4A feed. You should do a little post-production to bump those levels up. I usually have to crank up my volume 4x or so to make it listenable. I think there are some drag-and-drop tools that'll do it for you if you don't want to take the extra time to do it, like Levelator.

    Thanks!
    Reply
  • Ken g6 - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    First, with Haswell, Broadwell, and keeping the LGA1155 parts around, I'm reminded of the situation with Nehalem where all the low-end processors, Pentiums and Celerons, were still Core 2. I get the impression we'll have Sandy Bridge Pentiums for years to come. I hope that doesn't make LGA1150 parts too expensive, like all the 1156 parts seemed to be.

    As far as BGA and sticking the SOC on a board, see also the EOMA-68 standard. http://elinux.org/Embedded_Open_Modular_Architectu... The idea is that one card can power your desktop, laptop, or smartphone - just not all at the same time. Intel could probably get Broadwell into the 10W-with-cooling power profile if they wanted to.

    Finally, regarding waiting, obligatory XKCD: http://xkcd.com/989/
    Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    They can't really converge Atom and Core. From a technical point of view, it may make sense, but from a business point of view, it won't, which is exactly why they will not do it. If Core gets integrated into Atom, then they will need to keep pricing them at $20 anyway, which means it would collapse their entire pricing strategy for Core chips.

    On the other hand, they don't want to get Atom become as good as Core i3, while it costs $20, because people may start preferring Atom to Core "too much", and against collapse their business, as Intel can only thrive on high margin chips.

    Intel is stuck here, because you can bet ARM has no problem trying to make their chips more and more powerful to catch-up with Intel's core, while keeping it at $20 per chip. ARM has no conflict of interest here. Intel does, and that's why it's doomed.
    Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, December 03, 2012 - link

    And my point was that if Intel doesn't learn to compete with ARM at every level for $20 chips - if they can't learn to adapt their business for $20 chips, then Intel will be gone from the mainstream consumer market, because ARM will chase them out, as their chips become more powerful, and entrench more and more on Intel's territory for a much lower price.

    So Intel either learns to survive with $20 chips, or they'll be chased away from these markets, with their only escape in high-end servers and supercomputers (at least until ARM and Imagination's MIPS make their play there).

    Intel vs ARM is as much of a classic disruption case as you can get.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDrMAzCHFUU
    Reply
  • peter123 - Tuesday, December 04, 2012 - link

    Hey guys, so I got a little confused by the current/next Krait versions. I thought that the Krait v3 (Fusion3 platform?) was already in the market, inside devices like the Nexus4, Droid DNA or Padfone2 (as per QCM nomenclature S4 Pro tier). And the Krait v2 were the ones with the adreno 225 that debuted early this year (S4 Plus tier). But you said that the V3 will come only in devices next year? What I'm I misunderstanding here? Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    The APQ8064 is an S4 Pro part - It has four Krait v2 cores and the Adreno 320. The MSM8960 is an S4 part - it has two Krait v2 cores and the Adreno 225 along with an integrated baseband.

    Then MSM8960T is an S4 Pro part - it has two Krait v3 cores and the Adreno 320 along with an integrated baseband. The only phone with this chip in it that I'm aware of is the Nokia 920T for China, which is either rumored or confirmed (I forget which) to contain an MSM8960T, giving it a sizeable performance advantage over the US and European Nokia 920, which has an MSM8960.

    Personally, I'd love to have a phone with the MSM8960T in it. It seems far preferable to the quad core part for battery life concerns and everyday usability.
    Reply
  • peter123 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Thanks smartypnt4, I got it. So we can expect to see a four core krait v3 in the future, with adreno 320 and integrated baseband? And yes the lumia 920 for china mobile was officially launched today;)

    Anyway it will be interesting to which SoC will have the most design wins in 2013. A15 designs to my knowledge do not have integrated basebands (Tegra4, OMAP5, Exynos 5xxx) but apparently can offer superior raw performance over the S4. On the other hand the S4 it's an integrated solution.
    Reply
  • smartypnt4 - Wednesday, December 05, 2012 - link

    Yes, the logical progression is that a 4-core part will surface eventually.

    And if the Krait 300 (v3) really does achieve a 15% increase in IPC through architectural improvements, it will be very, very competitive with the current A15 cores from what I've seen. That's difficult to say given that there's only one A15 device on the market (Nexus 10), but I think they'll be very close to each other.

    The reason Qualcomm is having yet another record-breaking year is that they've got an integrated solution with a radio that can be used on any of the US carriers, and a fair few of the international markets. It'll be interesting to see if NVIDIA's Tegra 4 with LTE or Intel's next chip that supposedly has LTE will be able to gain any ground against Qualcomm in the coming year.
    Reply

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