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  • Amoro - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    In the first sentence of the paragraph below the Saltwell Vs. Silvermont graph, it states "In terms of absolute performance, Saltwell’s peak single threaded performance is 2x that of Saltwell" and it should be "Silvermont's peak single...." Reply
  • ClockworkPirate - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Also at the end of the first paragraph on the "Tablet Expectations and Performance" page, "...with Haswell picking up above Haswell." should probably be "...with Haswell picking up above Bay Trail." Reply
  • chrone - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    this is the soc i've been waiting for since 2008. winter is coming!! it's gonna be a long winter for arm and friends ahead. \m/ Reply
  • theos83 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    lol...wait and watch...it has been a long winter for intel (from a mobile market point of view), lets see what they end up with in the next 4 years...ARM and friends are not going away anytime soon. Reply
  • Hector2 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    True. The difference between then and now is that Intel didn't have an SoC designed and optimized for smartphones. Now they do (this year) and it'll be about 22nm & 14nm offering Intel higher performance, lower power and lower cost. In this area Intel has about a 2 year lead on their competition Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    It's very, very, VERY hard to beat a monopoly in a certain market (ARM that is), even with a company like Intel that may have a monopoly in another.

    Plus they have like a dozen competitors there, with at least 3-4 top ones. Intel has promised a lot of stuff before, and under-delivered. So we'll see. ARM chips are also going 20nm and 64 bit next year, and at 14nm FinFET the year after that (yes, only a year later).

    Plus, if these things cost 2-3x what the high-end ARM chips cost, they can just pack and go home. No OEM will accept that, unless Intel gives them Haswell in PC's for 30% off, or some deal like that (which would mean they won't be making any money on these Atoms anytime soon).
    Reply
  • klmccaughey - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Intel has the cash to loss-lead on this and open a big crack into the market. It also has the bucks to advertise.

    My guess is that shareholders are screaming for Intel to get into this market. All the omens look good and I am really looking forward to a big jump in power and battery life for mobiles. I think ARM finally has a real competitor.
    Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Intel (and MS) are still under the delusion they're in the 1990's where they could be a premium vendor. Look at all the Windows tablets for proof of this. Intel and MS are both charging way more than they should and all their Wintel tablets (RT or 8) are overpriced by a huge amount.

    Intel doesn't loss lead. At least, they haven't shown any sign of it at all. Maybe this will be their moment, but somehow... I really, really doubt it.
    Reply
  • zeo - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Don't confuse Intel with the OEMs and MS, Intel isn't over charging on their hardware!

    The listed Tray cost for the Clover Trail Z2760 SoC is only $41, at a time when ARM high end SoCs are starting to go over $30... So there's not a multiple times cost difference anymore.

    OEMs just mistakenly took their cue from MS pricing of the Surface and it's not like the tablet market is really set up for PC configurations.

    OEMs for example are used to using internal drive capacity as a way of charging more of their products. Like it doesn't cost anywhere near $50 to double the drive capacity of a Nexus 7 for example or how Apple charges a $100 for each doubling of capacity.

    Remember, Windows tablets start with 32GB and that's much higher minimum than what mobile devices still offer.

    Along with inclusion of full size USB ports, the added cost of Windows license, the greater tendency to include premium parts like WACOM digitizers, etc all added together for how the pricing finally came out...

    However, the OEMs should have learned their lessons, MS is definitely going to offer them better volume license fees this time around, and Bay Trail is suppose to be even lower priced than Clover Trail... So we should see much better pricing with this new generation of products.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Its not a monopoly. There are several companies that build ARM SoC's. ARM is an ISA, no different than x86. If Intel delivers quantity, better performaning SoC's than the competitors, best believe they will switch. Apple already does x86 in house on OS X. Promise you they have been testing Atom in house for potential future designs.. Whether those designs win over ARM A# in house designs is another matter... Intel is nothing if not good at getting companies to sign up with them.. They deliver the highest quality and highest quantities of anyone in the silicon business. Reply
  • Hector2 - Friday, May 17, 2013 - link

    There are only 3 companies right now left in the world who have the muscle and volume to afford high tech fabs -- Intel, Samsung & TSMC. And Intel has about a 2 year lead. That means not just higher performance and lower power than before, but lower cost. Making the chips smaller multiplies the number of chips on a single, fixed-cost wafer and lowers costs. If the chip area is 1/2, the costs to make it are about 1/2 as well. 22nm tech gives Intel faster chips with less power than their competition. 14nm hits it out of the park. Reply
  • BMNify - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    You're absolutely wrong about "lower cost". x86 requires more die area. The process is more volatile (more failed wafers).

    If we combine the 2 above factors with better performance, lower power consumption and toss in a lack of experience we get GT3e. A technological marvel that few (OEMs) want.
    Reply
  • BMNify - Wednesday, June 05, 2013 - link

    Spot on Krysto - It's Intel's process advantage that is shining through. Soon they'll hit the point of diminishing returns and/or the rest of the market will catch up/get close enough. When I see AMD at 32nm (Richland) having lower power draw at idle than Intel at 22nm (Ivy Bridge) I wonder how special their "secret sauce" actually is.

    How long can Intel loss-lead? Probably as long as Xeon continues to make up for it but ARM is getting into the server market now too (looking forward to AMD and Calexda ARM SoCs for the server market). Should be interesting in 3-5 years
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, August 26, 2013 - link

    only issue, though, is when you put that richland chip under load. all of a sudden, intel is using much less power. Reply
  • t.s. - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    "The mobile market is far more competitive than the PC industry was back when Conroe hit. There isn’t just one AMD, but many competitors in the SoC space that are already very lean fast moving. There’s also the fact that Intel doesn’t have tremendous marketshare in ultra mobile."

    Well, with their 'strategy' back then when facing AMD (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8047546.stm), they surely'll win. :p
    Reply
  • nunomoreira10 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    It´s kinda suspicious that there are many comparisons against arm but none against Amd jaguar or even bobcat.
    jaguar will probably be a much better tablet cpu and gpu, while intel competes on the phone market.
    Reply
  • Khato - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Which AMD Jaguar/Bobcat SKU runs at 1.5 watts? They aren't included in the comparison because they're a markedly higher power level. Reply
  • nunomoreira10 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    they will both be used on fan-less tablet designs... Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Totally different markets. Jaguar/Bobcat will likely line up next to low end Core/Haswell, not an Atom/Silvermont Reply
  • Penti - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Both will sadly be way to underpowered when it comes to the GPU, and that matters greatly on general OS's and applications like running a desktop OS X or Windows (or GNU/Linux) machine. You won't really be able to game on them at all as it's not smartphone games people want to run. GPGPU won't really be fast enough for anything and we talk about ~100-200 GFLOPs GPU-power on the AMD side for what is essentially a full blown computer.

    Intel is clearly targeting the phone market. Something AMD/ATI divested from years back with their mobile GPU tech going to Qualcomm (Adreno, which isn't Radeon-based) and Broadcom. ATIs/AMDs mobile GPU-tech was before that previously licensed to or used together with the likes of Intel (PXA/XScale – not integrated though), Samsung and Freescale among others. Their technology already is the mainstay of the mobile business and was departed from the company but in effect their technology know how was successful in the market without their leadership so why would they compete with that, of course they wouldn't.

    AMD simply has not and will not likely any time soon invest in an alternate route to dominate their own part of the smartphone/ARM-tablet market while Intel has with integrated designs replacing the custom ARMv5TE design. AMD going after ARM-business is different since they will license the core and their manufacturer GloFo already does manufactures and even offers hard macros for ARM-designs that they sell a bunch of to other customers already. It's also going after other embedded fields and the emerging ARM-server/appliance space all without designing custom cores.

    While PXA (Intel) was quite successful in the market, moving to x86 and doing away with stuff like ARM-based network processors, raid-processors allows Intel to focus on delivering great support for modern ISA across all sorts of devices, while it didn't make it into phones (until lately) like PXA which continued to power Blackberrys under Marvell, was the main Windows Mobile platform for years after Intels departure and so on it was able to become a multimediaplatform, and a widely adopted chip for embedded use, driving NAS-devices and the like. Thanks to the Intel purchase of Infineons Wireless portfolio including many popular 3G radios/modems and them forming a new wireless division their actual business and sales in the mobile market is also much higher than when they still had their custom PXA/XScale lineup. Plus they couldn't have competed with their XScale lineup without designing new ARM-ISA compatible cores/designs to be able to match Cortex A8, A9, A7, A15, Krait 600 etc. Plus puts them in a much better place to be a wireless/terminal supplier when they can support customers who want advanced wireless modems/baseband, Application processors, bt, wifi etc. While Nvidia will have Tegra 4i with integrated modem AMD couldn't offer anything similar as they have no team capable of producing radio baseband. Having modern compilers and x86-ISA sure makes it convenient now for Intel, as well as integrating their own GPU, just licensing ARM Ltd designs wouldn't have put them in a better position to continue their presence in the mobile field. They have basically developed and scaled their desktop GNU/Linux drivers in the Linux Kernel, added mobile features and so on years before they put the hardware and can leverage that software in mobile platforms (Android) but it makes sense and they don't have to rely on IP cores and third party drivers for graphics with the coming Bay Trail. They couldn't have shared that much tech if they were anything else then x86. Of course AMD won't be in the same place and scaling down a GPU designed for thousands of stream processors and Windows/OS X drivers to put it into phones is not the same. It would be awful if it is just scaled down to fit the power usage, even if Nvidia has kinda custom mobile gpu it's still worse then the competitors which has no presence in desktop computing. Drivers for QNX, Android/Linux, iOS etc is not the same as with Windows either. It takes a long time to start over when they did away with an okay solution (z460), and they haven't but other have and thats fine, there is more competition here then elsewhere. x86 is no stopper for Intel.
    Reply
  • t.s. - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    If Intel play fair few years back, maybe now we have competitive offerings from AMD. That practice Intel's doing hurt AMD alot. Until now. Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I'm sure Anand would be drawing plenty of comparisons if he had a Temash tablet in hand. Reply
  • Bob Todd - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    As an owner of two Bobcat systems (laptop/mini-itx), I don't think a 25% boost from Jaguar is going to get us into the realm of "good enough" cpu performance for general computing in Windows. The same goes for Intel unless Silvermont is significantly faster than Jaguar. I'm excited that Intel is finally bringing something interesting to the table, even if we end up two to three generations away from a good experience in Windows with their (and AMD's) mobile offerings. This sounds like it will make for a beastly dual core Android phone though, even at lower clocks. Reply
  • jjj - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Hilarious difference in attitude when it comes to Intel.
    Tegra 4 gets into phones by "aggressively limiting frequency." while Intel " Max clock speeds should be lower than what’s possible in a tablet, but not by all that much thanks to good power management. "
    Objectivity at it's best.
    Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Your scenario is a false equivalency. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Is it? I wouldn't accuse Anand of "objectivity" when it comes to Intel, whether it's on purpose, or involuntary. Reply
  • nunomoreira10 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The point is tegra 4 was not exactly made for phones while Intel was, for that you have tegra4i

    its not exacly nvidia fault, everybody complained that tegra 3 was lacking, now tegra 4 which is competitive consumes to much, atleast there is a choice.
    Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    A15s are big cores in relation to its relatives. The only way to fit not 2, not 4, but *5* of them in a phone on 28nm is to downclock them agressively. Just like the only way to fit Ivy Bridge in a tablet is to downclock it agressively.

    Anand did point out that the "the only A15 SoCs we've seen have been very leaky designs optimized for high frequency," and that if power consumption were prioritized instead (which I believe Tegra 4i is supposed to be), it would be less of a blowout.

    It's silly getting defensive about stock ARM cores anyways. It's not an attack on Nvidia by saying their stock ARM cores aren't all too spectacular -- it's not like they poured blood, sweat and tears into making their A15s the best thing ever.

    Finally, Tegra 4 is on a process that is rather significantly inferior to Intel's 22nm process. You think Nvidia would have to downclock agressively if they were on a level playing field and using Intel's 22nm process? I sure don't. But jjj and others here feel the need to get defensive whenever songs of praise are being sung about Intel, even when it's well deserved.
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I am in agreeance with what you said, but I do believe Tegra 4i is Cortex A9, not A15 like Tegra 4. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    The Korean Galaxy S4 has a 1.8GHz Exynos Octa, Tegra 4 does 1.9GHz. In what way are these "aggressively downclocked"? They run at their maximum frequency! Reply
  • extide - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    What does Tegra 4 do 1.9Ghz in? Reply
  • Wilco1 - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Rumour is that it goes in the next ZTE phone out in a few months. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Note: Tegra 4i does *not* use Cortex-A15 CPUs, it uses Cortex-A9 CPUs! In fact, there's very little "Tegra 4" in the "Tegra 4i" other than the name. Reply
  • lmcd - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    And the GPU is closer to the 4 than 3.

    And the process node. Oh yeah, that.
    Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    You're willfully missing the point (and I say that as someone who's not convinced it will be easy for Intel to get ahead).

    What is the value of high speed CPUs in a phone (or for that matter a tablet, or a desktop machine)? For most users it is NOT that it allows some long computation to take a shorter time; rather it's that it provides snappiness --- it allows something that would have taken 1/40th of a sec to take 1/60th of a sec, or that would have taken 1/3rd of a sec to take 1/4 of a sec.
    In this world, where snappiness is what matters, the ability to run your CPU at very high speeds for very short bursts of time (as long as this does not cost you long-run power) is an exceedingly valuable asset. You're being very stupid to dismiss it.
    Reply
  • dig23 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    I think so too. This article sounds totally biased :( Reply
  • bkiserx7 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I wish they would go all out and lay it all on the table. I think it would drive great competition through the industry. Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Agreed. And if it does come out "too good", just downclock it and get even better battery life. Reply
  • jamesb2147 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    This is, by far, the worst article I've ever read on Anandtech. I'm pulling you out of my RSS feed specifically because of this article.

    Post when you have specs, guys, not Intel slides. I don't want to see the word "should."
    Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    AnandTech's architectural analyses are some of the best in the industry. It's your loss. Reply
  • Ortanon - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    This. Reply
  • jamesb2147 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    That's not an excuse for subjective fluff. Don't get me wrong, I particularly liked the Bulldozer performance reviews and analysis. The reason I liked them was the hard data used to develop ideas about possible use-case scenarios for the CPU's. This article is full of "IT'S GONNA BE AWESUMMMMMM!!!!!1!!!" and not so much nuanced, objective reporting on actual news. It has plenty of analysis, but without concrete evidence, it reads like one of those all-too-familiar forum rants from HardForum or the like, full of people with too much time and not enough to do.

    If Anandtech is evolving into one of those news outlets that has to keep writing articles to keep people engaged, then I'm not interested. And it's not just my loss, it's the readership's.
    Reply
  • wsw1982 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    if the clover trail+ already has similar performance as the best ARM offer, and the silvermont is said to be 2 times better than clover trail+. What should be the most logic sentiment in your opinion? Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Well, you're comparing some future Intel SoC that no one has been allowed to actually touch/test (using only Intel's internal "benchmarking") against currently available ARM SoCs. Who knows what the performance will be like for ARM SoCs in 8-12 months, when these Intel SoCs are actually, physically able to be benchmarked.

    Cautious optimism is warranted. Not flat-out "OMG, THIS IS THE BESTEST EVAR!" fluff like this article spouts.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Restrained optimism and a desire for further evidence. I can only assume Anand has already seen more than us, as his attitude is somewhat more positive than that. If he hasn't, well, I have expressed the opinion before that I find he treats Intel press releases rather lightly. Reply
  • cjb110 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    tbh that's an OTT response, AnandTech have done a piece based on the info they have and their previous experience. Everything mentioned is reasoned out in a logical progression. You might not always agree with the reasoning but its most certainly isn't 'fluff'. There will be a data based analysis later, as always. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    But not entirely unbiased. Making a detailed analysis and being biased aren't mutually exclusive. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    See asymco.com (apple fanboi doing "indepth analysis" about Android and other competitors.. Guess what? They usually favor Apple). Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I doubt there's a single human being on the face of the planet that is unbiased. What's your point? Reply
  • Thrill92 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Oh no, your going to have to do some critical thinking about the data and conclusions in media. What ever will you do? Reply
  • GTRagnarok - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    We'll miss you :'( Reply
  • Pheesh - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I don't think the Anandtech site will miss your views and contributions. I appreciated the article and explanations for what's to come. Not everyone cares only about 'specs'. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    That's what I hate most about Intel's press releases, too. They are typically HIGHLY misleading, in some way or another. Remember when they made people believe the 22nm IVB would be 37% faster AND 40% more efficient? - when it was actually one OR the other, but because of the way they phrased it in the PR...and the way tech sites cloned it in their articles, that's what most people got - that they get BOTH those benefits. In the end it was HALF of each.

    But the worst part about it is the "churnalism" that comes after it. Since most tech sites are either too ignorant or too lazy, they just rewrite what Intel said in the PR - no questions asked.

    Please remember EXACTLY what Intel says Silvermont is capable of - and I PROMISE you when this chip gets reviewed, it won't even seem close, and if you remember everything, you'll be disappointed.
    Reply
  • Khato - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Actually, I don't recall where Intel stating that IVB would be 37% faster AND 40% more efficient. I believe you're confusing technical information regarding the 22nm process capabilities with a product using that process... and incorrectly interpreting that process information to boot. Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The only thing that I can think of is the chart comparing voltage and gate delay on the first page of this article, which was circulating a lot before the launch of Ivy Bridge. There's nothing misleading about it though, unless you don't know how to read the chart. Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    "That's what I hate most about Intel's press releases, too. They are typically HIGHLY misleading, in some way or another."

    Intel, AMD and Nvidia are all guilty of this, and you know it.
    Reply
  • t.s. - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Exactly! Hate it. It looks like all of them have an inferiority complex. They have to boast. Not confident enough with their true offerings. Reply
  • AssBall - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    You know I have been coming here for 15 years and thought exactly the same thing. This article is the worst. Terrible PowerPoint graphs and gibberish. No real information. Kind of a sadness. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The "PowerPoint" graph actually came from Excel, but it came from an article from earlier this year: http://www.anandtech.com/show/6536/arm-vs-x86-the-... (see page 3). And I dare you to find a more thorough or more comprehensively researched and tested article on SoC power consumption literally anywhere else. Reply
  • AssBall - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I dared, "literally", but couldn't find much. Sue us for asking for better standards. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    +1 Reply
  • chubbypanda - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The article is about yet to be relased platform. Obviously you could get better information if you work for Intel or its OEM partners. If you don't, Anand's writing is as good as they get. Reply
  • Thrill92 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    But what's your point? Reply
  • raptorious - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    It seems like every subsequent Anandtech article about Intel that I read sounds more and more like an Intel Marketing slide deck. I think I'd believe that the absolute performance of Silvermont is better than Cortex A15, but I'm very skeptical that the perf/watt will actually be better at the TDP that we care about for a tablet. I have a very hard time believing that a 2-wide OoO architecture will get better IPC than a 3-wide one. In order to achieve better performance, you'd have to very aggressively scale frequency, and as we all know, perf/watt usually decreases as you scale frequency up (C*V^2*F). It MIGHT be better perf/watt in a phone, simply because with a 2-wide architecture, you can scale dynamic power much lower, but of course, then you can't make the ridiculous claims of 1.6x performance. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    FWIW, Intel is willing to provide these detailed slide decks long in advance of the launch of their hardware. The other SoC vendors are far less willing to share information. If Apple, Qualcomm, or some other vendor put together a nice slide deck, I can guarantee we'd be writing about it. Reply
  • B - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    @JarredWalton, I completely agree with your assessment. I have listened to every Anandtech Podcast and repeatedly hear Anand and Brian Klug lament the lack of transparency with the other SOC vendors. Those two go through great lengths to get any meaningful information on the roadmaps of Apple, Qualcomm, et al. The bottom line is that currently Intel is accustomed to sharing more information than its peers in the mobile industry and I suspect your readership wants to know what's coming long before the product is released, and this will always include a speculative component. Reply
  • beginner99 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The intel slides basically say intel will have 8x better performance/watt. Now if you don't believe them, just half the numbers and you are at 4x, which is still huge...I believe it.

    Medfield uses a basically 5 year old design on an older process!!! than current ARM offerings and is competitive in performance/watt (it's actually better already). The only thing is how efficient the GPU will be and even more important how expensive the whole SOC will be. So even if the performance and power data is correct, not guarantee it will succeed.

    I do see why some don't like the article but I think Anand is just enthusiastic and lets be honest, AMD has no delivered anything to be enthusiastic about in years and has a history of misinformation on slides What intel disclosed on slides was usually more or less true in the past so they have more credit than AMD.
    Reply
  • raptorious - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Showing 8x perf/watt or even 4x perf/watt from generation to generation might be possible by milking numbers, but across the board that is laughably impossible. You're talking about defying the laws of physics. This architecture isn't radically different from A15 or other designs, and the process improvements of 22 nm over 32 nm don't just magically give you 4x perf/watt. If you want to live in Intel's fairy tale land, go ahead. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Intel has far better fabs than anyone else. That alone gives them a huge advantage. The reason they've been doing so poorly up until now is that (as the article mentions) they've basically been stagnating with an Atom design dating back to 2004. Now that they've updated to a modern design, they should be able to beat their competitors decisively on the hardware side. Whether that will lead to design wins or not, who can say... they're pretty late to this particular game. But they can give it a good shot. Reply
  • t.s. - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Yeah, right. Same with AMD. After they 'upgrade' their architecture from star to bulldozer, they automagically have a huge advantage. Remember, changing architecture doesn't necessary a good thing. Moreover for the 1st time you do the change. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I do wonder how much having a dual channel memory interface helps Silvermont, though. It's something that neither Atom nor Bobcat has enjoyed previously, and I've not heard much about Jaguar on this subject (ignoring the PS4, that is). AMD certainly has the lead on ISAs though, so regardless of how good Silvermont is, it's going to trail in some places.

    I'm a little confused as to the virtual lack of a comparison to AMD in this piece; yes, Intel did say they wanted to beat ARM at its own game, but with Jaguar-powered devices already in the wild and AMD sporting a new custom-CPU team for whoever wants whatever, this is going to be interesting.

    Benchmarks, please! ;)
    Reply
  • powerarmour - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Atom had dual channel memory with the ION chipset btw. Reply
  • silverblue - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Really? Oh well, in that case then, maybe not too much. Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Only until Intel murdered that, of course :| Reply
  • ajp_anton - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Where did you find "8x" in the slides? Reply
  • Gigaplex - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    AMDs HSA is most definitely something to be enthusiastic about. Reply
  • theos83 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    You're right, I've seen this tendency in AT's reviews and discussions as well. I understand that a lot of it comes from reviewing PC components and processors where Intel dominated the market. Also, most of the slides here are marketing material. For example, the 22nm Ivy Bridge tri-gate plots have been out since 2011. True, Intel is the first and only foundry to bring FinFETs to the market successfully and I applaud them for that. However, the performance vs power advantage is not that evident, since even though Tri-gates allow 100mV reduction in threshold voltage and hence, supply voltage, various blogs have reported that most Ivy bridge processors did not scale down supply voltage below 0.9V. FinFETs are great for high performance parts, however, you need to really pay attention to reliability and variation to make it successful for SoCs, they are a completely different ball-game.

    Also, the rest of the SoC makers already have roadmaps ready for the future, they are a fast moving target. Hence lets see benchmarked numbers from Intel processors before jumping on the marketing bandwagon.
    Reply
  • Pheesh - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    "However, the performance vs power advantage is not that evident, since even though Tri-gates allow 100mV reduction in threshold voltage and hence, supply voltage, various blogs have reported that most Ivy bridge processors did not scale down supply voltage below 0.9V." Didn't the start of the article cover that they are using a different manufacturing process for these lower power SOC's as compared to ivy bridge processors? Reply
  • saurabhr8here - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The SoC process has some differences in the metal stack for higher density and has additional transistor flavors (longer channel lengths). Check Intel's IEDM 2012 paper for more information, however, the truth is that their tri-gate process improvements claimed in the 'plots' shown and actual performance improvements in processors have a significant gap. I think that Intel tri-gates are great, but they aren't as 'wonderful' as presented in the marketing slides. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Thank You! People are starting to get it. Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Yay confirmation bias! Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Nay, you fanboi(Intel's) much ? Reply
  • powerarmour - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Have to agree, starting to get tired of these almost Intel PR based previews. No mention to how poor Intel's graphics drivers have consistently been over many many years. Reply
  • Homeles - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    "You can't make the ridiculous claims of 1.6x performance."

    Sure you can. It was already a close race between a 5 year old architecture and a brand new one. The floodgates have opened -- this is 5 years of pent up performance gains from the largest R&D spender in the industry, on top of being on a significantly superior process for mobile devices.
    Reply
  • Wilco1 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Absolute performance of Silvermont cannot be higher than A15 or Bobcat, it's just 2-way OoO, has a single-issue in-order memory pipeline (no speculative execution of memory operations or dual issue of load-store like A15/Bobcat) and fairly small buffers in general. All in all it is more like A9 than A15 or Bobcat/Jaguar. Reply
  • althaz - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Except that it certainly can (dependent on a lot of other factors)...

    That said, I suspect it will only be faster at the same power level, not at the same frequency.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    That's covered in the article but I must admit I don't fully understand it. Anyway Anand writes about macro-op fusion and clearly states that because of this the 2-wide is misleading when directly comparing to ARM. My interpretation being that ARM doesn't have this and if your 2-wide CPU is running macro-ops with 2 instructions in them it's actually like 4-wide (but I guess this naive viewpoint of mine is completely wrong. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    No, macro-ops don't make your CPU magically wider. For example Silvermont cannot actually execute 2 load+op instructions every cycle, and cannot even execute 1 read-modify-write every cycle...

    Also note that most ARM CPUs do have similar capabilities, for example Cortex-A9 can execute 2 shifts and 2 ALU instructions every cycle, and loads and stores can have base update for free. So Anand is quite wrong claiming this is an advantage to Atom.

    As I mentioned, the big bottleneck of Silvermont is it's single load/store unit. Typical code contains many loads and stores, and Cortex-A15 can execute these twice as fast as Silvermont.
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    It can, however, execute 1 load and 1 store simultaneously, and that is its saving grace. That fits very well with code being executed in OoO fashion and why I doubt very much A15 is twice as fast executing typical code. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    No Silvermont can only execute 1 load or 1 store per cycle. A15 won't be twice as fast on typical code, but it will beat Silvermont on memory intensive code due to its single memory pipeline bottleneck. Reply
  • tech4real - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    "Absolute performance"? Do we consider power constraint here at all? Atom is optimized for power-efficiency. All the current information I've seen so far suggest Silvermont will outperform A15 by a large margin in terms of power efficiency. If we throw away power constraint, Intel has Core to take care of that. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I was talking about peak performance, but yes, power consumption matters too. What we've seen so far is Intel marketing suggesting that in 6-9 months time Silvermont will be more efficient than A15 was 12 months earlier. However that's not what Silvermont will have to compete with. At the end of this year A15 will have had 2 process shrinks down to 20nm in addition to a lot of tuning, so it will be far more efficient than it was 12 months ago. And A15 is just one example, Apple, QC and ARM will have new cores as well. It's reasonable to say that Intel will finally be able to compete with Silvermont, but it is far from clear that it is the overall winner like their marketing claims. Reply
  • tech4real - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    TSMC's 20nm process is still in the works, your Q4'13 volumn production estimate seems way too optimistic, especially considering TSMC's pain in 28nm ramp. Also 28nm->20nm shrink without finfet significantly reduces its benefit. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    TSMC have learnt from the 28nm problems. They appear very aggressive this time, and so far the reports are they are 2 months ahead of schedule. Even if it ends up delayed to Q2'14 it's still around the same time Intel is planning to come out with Silvermont phones. The gains are not as large as with FinFETs, but enough to reduce power significantly. Reply
  • tech4real - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    my understanding is Q2'14 volume production with high yield is almost TSMC 20nm best case scenario. Of course, the term "high yield" is such a subjective thing vendors love to manipulate with almost infinite freedom... Reply
  • zeo - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    TSMC 20nm isn't set up for such optimization, but rather focused on cost reductions... The number of nodes, variations supported, etc will be fewer than they did with 28nm as they want to avoid the problems that caused the 28nm delays and that has resulted in a much more streamlined setup.

    While power leakage issues increase as FAB size is decreased... So without a solution like FinFET the power efficiency would be increasingly harder to keep it where it is, let alone reduce it...

    It's one of the reasons why ARM is trying to push other options like Big.LITTLE to boost operational efficiencies and not rely as much on FAB improvements.

    While it's also why not all ARM SoCs have moved to 28nm yet as for many the power leakage was still too much of a issue for their designs to make the switch right away, so there could be additional delays for 20nm releases.

    Though ARM should get FinFET in time for for the 64bit release... but by that time Intel would be on its way to 14nm...
    Reply
  • Jaybus - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Think of it as 2-wide x86 vs. 3-wide RISC. Rather than translating the x86 microcoded instruction into 2 or 3 RISC-like instructions, Intel's decode keeps it a single instruction down the pipeline. The RSIC architecture has to decode more instructions, so needs the 3-wide to keep up with the x86 2-wide.

    The point about the frequency scaling is this. The tri-gate design has a gate on top of 2 vertical gates. This gives it 3x the surface area as compared to FinFET. The greater surface area allows more electrons to flow within a given area of the die, and that allows a greater range of voltages and/or frequencies for which it can operate efficiently.
    Reply
  • Wilco1 - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    Eventhough macro-ops helps decode, they need to be expanded before they are executed. So in terms of execution, macro-ops don't help. Also as I mentioned in an earlier post, most ARMs also support macro-ops, allowing a 2-way ARM to behave like a 4-way. So macro-ops don't give x86 an advantage over RISC. Reply
  • jemima puddle-duck - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Without wishing to be overly cynical, Anandtech has a history of 'NOW Intel will win the mobile war' articles, which get recycled then forgotten in time for the next launch. It's all very clever stuff, but curiously underwhelming also. Reply
  • Roffles12 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I don't remember reading any 'NOW Intel will win the mobile war' articles on Anandtech. Perhaps your perception is skewed. Intel articles are typically of a technical nature discussing the inner workings of the architecture and fab process or discussing benchmarks. Intel is really the only company so completely open about how their technology works, so why not make it a point of discussion on a website on a website dedicated to the subject? If your head is clouded by fud from competing companies and the constantly humming rumor mill, maybe you need to back off for a while. At the end of the day, it's up to you to digest this information and form an opinion. Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Actually I've gotten the impression from Anandtech that Intel has been so tardy on providing chips for the mobile market that they may have lost the fight before even showing up. Intel may have good designs and the best foundries but that doesn't matter if ARM competitors arrive first with 'good enough' designs to gobble up all the market share. There is a likely a bit of frustration here constantly hearing about good tech that never reaches its potential.

    There was the recent line in the news article here about Intel's CEO choice about how Intel is foundry that makes x86 processors. That choice was likely selected due to Intel's future of becoming an open foundry to 3rd party designs. Intel has done this to a limited degree already. They recently signed a deal with Microsemi to manufacture FPGA's on Intel's 22 nm process. Presumably future Microsemi ARM based SoC + FGPA chips will also be manufactured by Intel as well.
    Reply
  • Kidster3001 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Intel has publicly stated that it's foundry business will never make products for a competitor. That means no ARM SoC's in Intel fabs. Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Intel isn't active in the FPGA area, well there than manufacturing them for a handful of 3rd parties. The inclusion of an ARM core inside a SOC + FGPA design wouldn't be seen as a direct competitor. Indirectly it definitely would be a competitor but then again just the FPGA alone would be an indirect competitor. Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Actually the REAL history is
    - Intel article appears. All the ARM fans whine about how unfair and awful it is, and how it refers to a chip that will only be released in six months.
    - ARM article appears. All the Intel fans whine about how unfair and awful it is, and how it refers to a chip that will only be released in six months.
    - Apple (CPU) article appears. Non-Apple ARM and Intel fans both whine about how unfair it is (because of tight OS integration or something, and Apple is closed so it doesn't count).

    Repeat every six months...
    Reply
  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Winner winner chicken dinner. I love how butt hurt people get about any article comparing CPU or GPU performance of two or more competitors (speculatively or not). I have devices with Krait, Swift, Tegra 3, Bobcat, Llano, Ivy Bridge, etc. They all made sense at the time for one reason or another or I wouldn't have them. I'm excited about Slivermont, just like I'm excited about Jaguar, and whatever Apple/Samsung/Qualcom/Nvidia cook up next on the ARM side. It's an awesome time to be into mobile gadgets. Now I'll sit back and laugh at the e-peen waiving misguided fanboyism... Reply
  • axien86 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link


    Acer is shipping new V5 ultraportables based on AMD's Jaguar high performance per watt technology in 30 days. AMD is 10 to 20 times smaller than Intel, but with design wins from Sony, Microsoft and now many other OEMs, they are delivering real performance for real value.

    By contrast Intel really has nothing to show, but endless public relations to compensate for a history of company that has been upstaged by smaller companies like AMD in forging real innovations in computing.
    Reply
  • A5 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    If by "high performance per watt" you mean "less performance in a higher TDP" than sure. Intel trounces AMD in notebooks for a reason.

    As for the Sony/MS stuff, I doubt Intel even bid for those contracts.
    Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I hope you're kidding. Bobcat-based designs have been superior to Atom for forever, and if you take graphics performance into account, then Atom has been nothing short of laughable. I wouldn't be surprised if Silvermont beats Jaguar in CPU performance, but it'll be a small delta, and Jaguar is coming out a full half-year ahead of Silvermont.

    It's also nice that Intel might get GPU performance around the level of the iPad 4's SoC by the end of the year, but I believe AMD's mobile graphics already handily surpass that and the ARM world will have moved on to solutions that handily surpass that by then as well. So, yet again, Intel will be well behind the GPU curve. It won't be laughably bad anymore, though, at least.

    And I really love that last line. "Intel didn't get some design wins? Well, psh, they totally didn't even want those anyway."
    Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Oh, and also not sure why you brought notebooks up when we're talking about architectures for very low-power devices like tablets, netbooks, and maybe some ultrathins. No one would claim that Trinity/Richland is at the same level of CPU performance as Ivy Bridge/Haswell. Personally, though, I'd still prefer an AMD solution for a notebook for the superior graphics, lower price, and more-than-adequate CPU performance. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    This is where I want AMD to come into play. Their low power CPU's are so much better than Atom ever was, and always had superior graphics. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    You're right. Intel has nothing to show at all.... Its not like they have the most powerful mobile and desktop consumer processors available. Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Yeah, now sit & watch that market(x86) die a slow death at the hands of mobile/tablets that are powered by "good enough" ARM which doesn't need teraflop level of performance to sell their stuff unlike Intel ! Reply
  • misaki - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Wow, clearly you are a new reader. This is an architecture overview, not a performance article, which means the information HAS to come from Intel. They have done these type of articles with every architecture redesign since the 90's.

    When chips are available to test that is when the real world performance articles will come out.
    Reply
  • Ortanon - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    SERIOUSLY. Reply
  • kyuu - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Yes, but a lot of performance claims are being made in the article, and Anand really seemed to just be taking Intel's marketing speak for gospel. That's how it read, at least. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Not really. He clearly states to take the graphs cautiously. Also Intel may be slightly misleading, but nothing in the graphs are lies. They chose the best possible scenario for the greatest advantage. Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Like how they(AT) claimed Intel's "SDP" was superior after stress testing an Exynos Octa, yup loved that fairytale ! Reply
  • Kevin G - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    The article mentions that the IDI is similar to internal bus found on the Nehalem and later desktop processor. IDI here is mentioned as a point-to-point interconnect where as everything is linked via a ring bus in recent Core processors. Of course you can loop multipe point-to-point interfaces into a loop but the article's wording allows for other topologies.

    For example, each Silvermont module could have its down dedicated point-to-point link to the system agent. In Nehalem, the system against logically appears as another hop in the internal ring bus.
    Reply
  • Exophase - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Small correction:

    "Remember that with the first version of Atom, Intel enabled the fusion of load-op-store and load-op-execute instructions. Instead of these instruction combinations decoding into three and two micro-ops respectively, they would be fused post-fetch and treated like single operations throughout the entire pipeline."

    Atom (the current one anyway) doesn't have instruction (macro-op) fusion. It does handle load + op and load + op + store are one issue down the pipeline but they still came from single instructions that are a natural part of the x86 ISA. While these may be considered fused micro-ops in Intel's other CPUs that terminology doesn't fit Atom.

    These operations do need multiple instructions on most more RISCy ISAs like ARM. But the same is true the other way around (notably, 3 address arithmetic). I very much doubt you'll find typical x86 programs only need 2 instructions for every 3 ARM instructions on average, or at least any papers I've seen that measure micro-ops vs instructions on high-end CPUs are nowhere close to 1.5 (and a uop isn't generally more powerful than an ARM instruction, sometimes less when you consider two are needed for a store). But there are lots of other places that caused stalls on Atom that weren't related to decode, that it's easy to see how you could still gain a lot of perf/MHz without increasing it - as Bobcat and Jaguar have shown. All the details here do seem to point to a Bobcat-like design only with a much lower L2 cache latency and branch mispredict penalty which can only help more.
    Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Er you're very correct. Atom doesn't break these instructions down further, they're treated like single ops throughout the pipeline. I've updated the section. Thank you! Reply
  • Jumangi - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Let me know when Intel has something of actual substance to show and not just bunch of marketing/hype focused Powerpoint slides. ARM continues to delivers solid performance gains year after year with low power usage...Intel says yea we'll will get around to updating our 5 year old design...eventually we promise...yawn... Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Great point. Intel keeps promising how awesome they will be when they launch their new "mobile" chip, and at always it's ALWAYS disappointing, because in the mean time ARM chips keep shipping on their merry way, and keep improving. Fast. Reply
  • A5 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Eh. A15 wasn't exactly a home run. The performance is good for what it is, but they overshot their TDP targets big time. Reply
  • saurabhr8here - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    A15 wasn't a home run because it has been developed on an early bleeding edge technology. As the process technology matures and the design is optimized for the process, the power/performance numbers will improve. Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    A15's problem isn't overshooting TDP targets; it's that it was originally designed for use in entry level NASes and other similar level embedded systems/micro servers. A few extra watts for better CPU performance isn't a big problem there. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Exactly. A15 was not initially designed for smartphones. Reply
  • Wilco1 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    That's not correct, ARM has said from the early announcements that it would go into mobiles at lower frequencies and core counts. Of course both core counts and frequencies turned out to be higher than originally expected, so power consumption is higher too. The Exynos 5250 appears to be released quickly in order to be first to market. The Octa core is far more tuned and will do better. NVidia has stated Tegra 4 uses 40% less power than Tegra 3 at equivalent performance levels. Reply
  • Krysto - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Let's do a recap. Performance is as high as Cortex A15...a chip launched in 2012.

    GPU performance is where iPad 4 was...in 2012.

    They are doing their benchmarks against last-gen ARM chips...okay.

    Intel Silvermont is expected late 2013/early 2014.

    Yeah...it's obviously so competitive! NOT.

    By the time Intel Silvermont arrives in smartphones (Merrifield), we will see 20nm ARMv8 chips in smartphones, already shipping. Good luck, Intel, another hit and a miss.

    As for what you said that Silvermont is conservative because they don't want to basically cannibalize Haswell - that's EXACTLY Intel's biggest problem right now. Their conflict of interest between the low-end, unprofitable Atom division, with the high-end very profitable Core division.

    This is exactly what killed their Xscale division, too. And it's what will kill Intel in the end. Because Intel will have to make Atom compete *whether they want to or not*. ARM chips are going to go higher and higher performance and become "good enough" for most everything. What is Intel going to do then? They'll have to keep up, which will slowly eliminate their *profitable* Core chips from the market. And what then? Survive on $20 chips with a dozen competitors? This is going to be very interesting for Intel in the next few years - and not in a good way, especially with a brand new CEO.
    Reply
  • Kjella - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    It's been four months of 2013, how many quad-core ARM processors have launched since 2012? They're comparing against what is out now (if they were able to compare against unreleased ARM processors there'd be something very wrong) and beating them, not sure where your reading comprehension failed there. Looks to me like they're ready for a clash of the titans around year's end. Also 1-5W chips don't compete much with 15-85W Haswells no matter what, AMD is dying fast and people need their x86 computers so whatever. Reminds me of all the posts that say Windows is sooooooo dead. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    AMD is making a lot of money right now. Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Let's see, umm Snapdragon 600 & then there's this soon to be released 800 ? So lemme get this straight, an unreleased product vs one that was available last year, Intel's latest(future indefinite) vs old/dated(relatively) from ARM seems fair to me ! Reply
  • ssiu - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Exactly the 2 points I wonder about too:

    (1) GPU performance -- 1/4 of an HD4000, about iPad 4 level -- so slower than e.g. PowerVR Rogue which should come out around the same time

    (2) more importantly, even if Intel can make competitive/superior product, can it survive on such low margin?
    Reply
  • zeo - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Well, yes and no on point 1... The iPad is using a quad SGX544, and Rogue doesn't improve performance by that massive amount that a single Rogue/Series 6 could beat a quad Series 5. So it's not that Rogue will be better than the Bay Trail GMA but can scale higher with a multiple configuration!

    On the margins, Intel is lowering their costs moving to 22nm FAB and despite the declining PC market they're still doing well and so should be fine for the foreseeable future... They'll have to do terribly in all markets to really start hurting now and that's not likely yet...
    Reply
  • andrewaggb - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    too early to say I think. This atom should be pretty good. if it's both twice as fast as the old atom and uses less power (which I believe is what they are trying to tell us), that's pretty good. It will be competing with 2nd gen a-15 designs or better, so the current performance claims are largely meaningless. GPU performance continues to be an issue, aiming for last years performance is definitely way too low. Fortunately gpu speed can normally be scaled more quickly than cpu speed, but intel seems to consistently underspec on gpu so I doubt they'll do better this time. Unless they go haswell style and have various different gpu skus. guess we'll see.

    Considering how much success rambus has had suing everybody I think if intel wanted to they could probably sue anybody working on advanced processor designs without sufficient licensing arrangements. Drive the minimum cost up a bit so the margins are higher.
    Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    This comment is hilarious ~ "gpu speed can normally be scaled more quickly than cpu speed" that's only if you're packing moar cores i.e. like SNB<IVB<<Haswell !

    GPU's cannot be scaled for performance unless there's some major redesigns of the underlying architecture, like AMD's transition to GCN, so unless you've got some insider info into how Intel plans to use their superior Iris(Pro) graphics in Silvermont I see this myth, about Intel's superior graphics, of yours being busted yet again, only this time in the mobile arena !
    Reply
  • ominobianco - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    If you had actually read the article you would know that they are comparing against performance PROJECTIONS of competitors parts available at product launch time, NOT current parts. Reply
  • zeo - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Sorry but ARMv8 64bit aren't coming out till the later half of 2014 at the earliest and they're pushing to be on 16nm and not 20nm, which may delay them further!

    While there's no major improvements planned for ARM until then! Many of the original Cortex A15 SoC releases have been delayed from 2012 to 2013!
    Reply
  • MrSpadge - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Error: On page 1 you correctly write "Remember that power scales with the square of voltage". Almost immediately followed by "At 1V, Intel’s 22nm process gives ... or at the same performance Intel can run the transistors at 0.8V - a 20% power savings."
    Ouch - forgot that square!
    Reply
  • dusk007 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I thought we would wait for 14nm for Intel to definitely pull ahead. This looks very promising.
    Now my perfect smartphone would sport a dual core Silvermont with a 4000mah battery, the HTC One camera and otherwise durable.
    GPU I don't care as long as it is good enough for the GUI I don't play games that would require something fast. Thin? Not at the cost of a smaller battery.
    I would love some feature phone like battery life. Triple what we have to deal with now would be incredible and possible it seems to me. Maybe the Motorola Phone X x86 Version can deliver that.
    Camera is secondary and I don't need a 1080p screen. Just 4.3-4.5" of 720p and long battery life.

    I feel like battery life is where this new generation can really promise new things. 32nm Atom already does really well in the tablets compared to quad core ARM competition. It will be a waste if they add 1500mah batteries though. I hope they finally realize as smartphones are mainstream that a lot of people would care first about battery life and second about 7mm thinness.
    Reply
  • beginner99 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Agree. Current phones are too big, 1080p is pretty much useless and wastes battery life and even the GPU in Medfield is good enough for the GUI. The lower screen resolution of course helps too with needing a not so good GPU. But with both you save on power. I want a phone I need to charge once a week not every day. Reply
  • PolarisOrbit - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Re: FSB
    Intel tried to get rid of the FSB several years ago, but it was seen as anti-competitive because they simultaneously locked out 3rd parties like Nvidia Ion. One lawsuit later, Intel was bound to keep the FSB in their low power architectures until 2013 for 3rd party support. Basically Intel wasn't playing fair and Nvidia burned their ship.
    Reply
  • DanNeely - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    There was no usable FSB in anything beyond the first series of atom chips. The rest still had it within the die to connect the CPU with the internal northbridge; but the only external interface it offered was 4 PCIe2(?) lanes. ION2 connected to them; not to FSB. Reply
  • Kevin G - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Actually Intel is to keep PCI-e on their chips until 2016 by that anti-trust suit. This allows 3rd part IP, like nVidia's ION, to work with Intel's SoC designs. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    This makes me wonder if companies that make in-house SoCs (I guess Apple in specific, since Samsung also sells them to others while Apple just does it for themselves) will ever switch mobile devices to Intel if they just can't match the performance per watt of this and future Atom cores. Reply
  • tipoo - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Also won't the much anticipated SGX 600 series/Rogue be out by around then? That's the GPU that's supposed to take these mobile SoCs to the 200Gflop territory which the 360/PS3 GPUs are around. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I would think Apple would (or any company) would want all of their software running on the same architecture/platform if they could. Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    And kill what a billion or so iDevices sold with incompatibility ? Me thinks you dunno what you're talking about ! Reply
  • CajunArson - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Did somebody pay you to post that reply? Because if so, they aren't getting their money's worth.

    Silvermont Atoms are targeted at smartphones in 2-core configurations and tablets in the 4-core Baytrail configurations. Their power consumption is in a completely different league than even the low-end Temash parts. Let me reiterate: a Temash with a 4 watt TDP is going to have substantially higher real-world power consumption than even a beefy Baytrail and will likely only compete with the microserver Atom parts where Intel intentionally targets a higher power envelope.

    I'm sure you can't wait to post benchmarks of a Kabini netbook with a higher power draw than Haswell managing to beat a smartphone Atom as proof that AMD has "won" something, but for those of us on planet earth, these Silvermont parts are very interesting and we appreciate hard technical information on the architecture.
    Reply
  • nunomoreira10 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Jaguar will be available on fanless designs wille haswell wont, you cant realy compare them.
    The facto is intel still doesn't hás a good enougf CPU for a good experiency on a legacy windows 8 fanless design, there is this big hole in the market that AMD is trying to seek.
    Reply
  • raghu78 - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    Intel silvermont is the start of the Intelization of the mobile world. within the next 2 - 3 years Intel should have bagged Apple , Google or Samsung. with the world's best manufacturing process which is atleast 2 - 3 years ahead of other foundries and Intel's relentless tick - tock chip development cadence the ARM crowd is going to be beaten to a pulp. Qualcomm might survive the Intel juggernaut but Nvidia will not. Reply
  • althaz - Monday, May 06, 2013 - link

    I don't think you fully grasp the situation. Whilst Intel definitely can (and realistically should) take a strong leadership position in the mobile sector, companies like Qualcomm aren't going anywhere - Intel still won't (be able to?) compete on price, which means even if they take the lions-share of the market, there will be enough left for others to survive (they'll be a lot better off than AMD who sells more-expensive-to-manufacture chips for cheaper that perform worse and use more power).

    Although I wouldn't be too confident about nVidia, as they are yet to show they can compete with the likes of Qualcomm, let alone Intel.
    Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    They most certainly will not "take the lions-share of the market" because that belongs to the ultra thin margin chipmakers like Mediatek/Allwinner that deliver quad core ARM v7 based SoC in that 10~20$ range where Intel will not & cannot compete because of their relatively high(er) cost structure ! Reply
  • Khato - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    This is an argument that never makes sense to me. Yes, Intel won't go into a market unless the margins make it worthwhile... but do you not realize how cheap it is for Intel to make value processors on a deprecated node? Remember, Allwinner and Mediatek may operate on ultra thin margins, but that's in large part because the majority of the margins on their product go to the foundry they use. aka, when all the high end products are using Airmont cores Intel can keep making use of their 22nm capacity for awhile churning out 'old' Silvermont based products for the value market and simply get closer to the 'operating point' margin for that node. Reply
  • R0H1T - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    I can't say how much TSMC charges for those chips but from what I know the single biggest cost of operations for Intel, outside of their R&D spending & foundry equipment upgrades, must be manpower & the difference between a Chinese/Taiwanese firm vs Intel in this particular dept would be a major one ! This is the real cost advantage that most smaller firms enjoy vis-a-vis Intel & for the foreseeable future they'll continue with this advantage. Reply
  • xTRICKYxx - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I didn't feel like this article is Intel PR crap. I read it all and I looked at all the improvements that are inbound; and I couldn't help but feel excited about Silvermont just like Anand.

    I cannot wait to see some benchmarks in the next few months.
    Reply
  • Silma - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    On lack of AMD's comparison: there is nothing to compare and while one should tread cautiously with Intel's slides one should not tread at all with AMD's slides because AMD has a huge legacy of promises not held - how many time did we hear it would catch up in notebook or desktops, in performance or performance/watt. While Intel disappoints from time to time (Pentium 4) AMD disappoints most of the time, its last interesting product was the Opteron. Like most companies without vision it ends up doing stupid mergers instead of concentrating on core business.

    On Intel vs ARM. Silvermont looks promising but Intel needs to accelerate its roadmap. At the end of the year it probably won't compete against a 28nm A15. Qualcomm will not sleep for a year. Also it will have to invest heavily into marketing and OEM incentives if it seriously wants a share of the mobile pile. Will shareholders
    Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    I'm excited. A 7-8" full Windows tablet with decent performance would be very neat. I'll wait to see what performance this gets in games. I don't need much, just enough to run adventure games and such. Reply
  • R0H1T - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Then get ready to shell out upwards of 500$ /: Reply
  • pensive69 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    can't stand getting a partially functioning market focused 'hack' on a cellphone.
    if the 22nm drill provides a full computer in a smaller form then factor me in!
    i don't care which firm does it...like those kids in the commercial
    we just want more we want more :).
    love it.
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    this chip will have to pull off a miracle to drive full windows 8 and the everyday apps people use. Seems like it's going to average maybe slightly over 2x performance. That seems like a lot but when you see how poor current atoms are double that performance still is not enough. Does have potential in android phones/tablets and windows 8 phones/tablets as long as it's windows rt on the tablet. Atom still is not good enough for full windows 8 Reply
  • Jaybus - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    In the full Win 8 tablet market, I don't think any low power SoC is going to be adequate to compete against 13 W Ivy Bridge. Reply
  • 1d107 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Did I miss memory bandwidth comparison with A6X? Will it support hi-res displays with acceptable performance? And by performance I mean not playing Angry birds on a so 1366x768 or even 1080p, but smooth scrolling and fast text rendering on a 3840x2400 screen. This would be cool for a descent Windows tablet with an external display attached.

    I'm afraid that by the time Silvermont is released and incorporated into actual products, Apple will have iPad 5 already shipping with A7X chip that will have twice the battery life, while maintaining better performance than A6X. They will need it for the iPad mini, but full-sized iPads will benefit also.
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    One cannot know what the A7X can deliver but can take a couple of guesses. Here: 1) Optimise Swift further with pipeline shortening but still staying on A9 architecture, 2) Leap to A15 dual core with minimal optimization. On gpu side, it becomes more tricky as Pvr554 being used is Max out at 4 cores, they would have to either jack that up(6 cores ?) or jack up the clock rate.
    Remember that S800 and T4 products are yet to be announced so there is some time to watch the progression.
    Intel's key weakness here is STILL on gpu side. To put 3 cores of PVR 554 would eat a lot of power while giving it respectable performance. Going 1/4 HD4000 is just a dumb idea as the drivers are very bad and will remain so. Again too much power budget to slot in 8EU on SIlvermont quad.
    On thing is for sure: Silvermont is going to make a wicked NAS cpu!.
    Reply
  • thunng8 - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    1) Swift is not A9 architecture.
    2) A7X will likely get the next generation PVR graphics chip (SGX Series 6 aka Rogue).
    Reply
  • nunomoreira10 - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    considering the power budget, 1/4 hd4000 is quite good
    hd4000 consumes around 10w during games, 1/4 with clock cut down and power improvements we should expect 1-2w which is the max they could allow.
    drivers are good for the games normally played on tablets.
    Reply
  • BSMonitor - Tuesday, May 07, 2013 - link

    Awesome review! This is the one we have been waiting for from Windows Phone / Windows Tablets!!

    Anand, is it the next Lumia that Intel has scored a design win?? x86 Windows 8 on a next gen Lumia??
    Reply
  • warezme - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Sounds like Intel is going hammer time on the mobile SOC arena. It's gonna get ugly but very interesting. Reply
  • futbol4me - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    Can someone out there answer a few questions for me?

    (1) If Intel Atom powered tablet were running android, do APPS available on Google Play need to be recompiled for the platform?
    (2) Will a Windows8 Intel Atom powered tablet have enough horsepower to run android effectively as a Virtual Machine?

    Do you think there is enough
    Reply
  • biertourist - Wednesday, May 08, 2013 - link

    To answer Question #2: Yes. Current Intel Atom tablets can run Android apps ala the "BlueStacks" app currently. Reply
  • rootheday - Thursday, May 09, 2013 - link

    re #1, Android apps written in Dalvik/Java require no recompile because they are compiled against a virtual machine spec. Android apps written as "native" against ARM instruction set -> Intel has implemented a binary translation capability called Houdini that converts them to x86 on the fly and optimizes them in the background. Reply
  • MelodyRamos47 - Sunday, May 12, 2013 - link

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  • samda - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    I signed up here just to post this and show just how objective Anand really is.
    "It will be insane if Silvermont reaches the 2010 MacBook Air "
    Well what a load of biased ignorance.

    Mr. Anand, you might want to read this and learn a bit:

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1946978

    http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/1947269

    Galaxy S4 ALREADY being there, heck even beating it easily!

    Can you imagine what will a 2Ghz Octa do?
    With this kind of memory? http://m.androidauthority.com/samsung-lpddr3-ram-2...

    How about Snapdragon 800?

    But yeah, it seems someone is being too busy sucking on Intel and living in the past!
    Reply
  • etre - Monday, May 13, 2013 - link

    Still Intel is not really trying on this market. They moved up from a 2008 design to a 2010 design on a last year process. And it took them 5 years to do that.
    They should have offered Haswell kind of tech, with the improvements on memory, this summer, at a killer price.

    Why should I support Intel by buying an Asus Phonepad, on a promise that they will bring something sometime, instead of going for a sure bet with the new Nexus 7 and quad core Krait.
    Reply
  • CodyCostaRica - Monday, May 20, 2013 - link

    Anand,

    Thanks so much for this article. I would be highly interested in knowing how Intel's current and future chip road maps stack up against the competitors' current and future offerings in the mobile space (Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, Apple).

    For example, how does Silvermont compare to the Apple A6X, currently used in the latest iPad?

    Keep up the good work!
    Reply

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