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It always starts the same way with Intel: they release their new, high-end architecture to the top of the product line at the start. The remaining older silicon and design continues to be sold as the low-end chips to deplete supply. The failed high-end chips and excess supply then start trickling down into the lower-end chips.
Ivy Bridge was launched all the way back in April, a fair time ago considering the speed at which PC innovations continue to move at. It was only last month that Ivy Bridge finally made it into the Pentium line of Intel CPUs, and by Q1 2013, it will be nearing an entire year since the original launch of the architecture.
The new Celeron chips will reportedly be named G1610, G1610T and G1620. They will still feature two cores and 2 MB of L3 cache. They will also continue to lack Hyper-threading and Turbo Boost. The new Ivy Bridge models will support faster memory as well as a slight speed bump on the bottom model. The top two processors will feature a lower TDP.
We were privy enough to get asked to join in on a conference call for AMD's Z-60 APU last week, with the company pulling the veils down on their new Accelerated Processing Unit today.
AMD's new Z-60 APU is built to be an ultra-low power consuming chip, with its heart lying in tablet and hybrid PCs. AMD's Z-60 APU is designed to maximize system responsiveness, where it is capable of quickly entering, and exiting low power states. To get these benefits, there's no special hardware required, just an optimized BIOS.
AMD's new Z-60 APU is capable of resuming from sleep within a few seconds, and can boot into Windows in the half-a-minute mark. Something that isn't quite amazing compared to today's Core i7 systems powered up with a nice SSD, but it is a tablet that is chewing less than 5W, remember.
AMD's Z-60 APUs are a dual-core design, with 80 Radeon cores included. We should see a maximum clock speed of 1GHz, with 1MB of L2 cache included. USB 3.0 support is present, with 1080p (1920x1080) the APUs maximum supported resolution. All of this finds its way into a package that has a TDP of just 4.5W.
Intel has announced today the details regarding their new Atom processor, the Z2760, which is "built for Windows 8 tablets." The new device remains under the Atom market name as it is a lower power part, designed to sip power in thin and cool devices, such as the upcoming Windows 8 devices.
It comes with the following key features and capabilities:
- High-Performance Dual-Core Processor - The Intel Atom processor Z2760 is a dual-core, four-thread, up to 1.80 GHz processor featuring Intel® Burst Technology and Intel Hyper-Threading Technology.
- Intel Burst Technology - Enables the processor to dynamically burst to higher performance, making it possible to provide on-demand, higher performance in small device form factors.
- Intel Hyper-Threading Technology - Intel Hyper-Threading Technology provides performance and support for multi-threaded applications, helping to deliver increased performance and system responsiveness in today's multitasking environments by enabling the processor to execute two instruction threads in parallel.
- System-on-Chip (SoC) Process Technology - The Intel Atom Processor Z2760 uses 32nm process technology with second-generation high-k metal gate transistors.
AMD's new Trinity APU architecture has had its preview today - with a slew of previews to keep your eyes, and maybe wallets happy. AMD's Trinity APU is built from a 32nm manufacturing process and sports 1.303 billion transistors. They come in a variety of models, speeds and specs - with the A10-5800K at the top of the hill, followed by the A10-5700, A8-5600K, A8-5500, A6-5400K and finally, the A4-5300.
Here's a roundup of some of the reviews that have just hit:
Intel's 22nm manufacturing process is shaping up much better than what the chipmaker said, according to talks at last week's IDF. Director of Process Technology, Mark Bohr, has said that the company's 22nm manufacturing process has exceeded their expectations.
Intel's Ivy Bridge line of processors bought forth the company's tri-gate transistor technology, which has been praised by technology enthusiasts alike. Bohr talked about the transistors' leakage and sub-threshold slope were more efficient than Intel had expected, and the technology will now see an extension of life into a few more generations.
We should hopefully see 14nm sometime next year, but 2015 looks like its the year for big amounts of change. Not only should we expect hoverboards (BTTF reference here) but we should see 10nm, 7nm and 5nm technologies researched. These technologies will see some amazing techniques used, as you can see in the picture above.
Intel will release a driver update for their Ivy Bridge platform next month that will enable 4K display output support, as well as hardware accelerated 4K video decoding abilities. Two DisplayPort outputs will be required to power a 4K display.
This means that most Ivy Bridge-based systems won't be capable of pushing 4K out from their systems, but future IVB systems wil have the 4K capabilities. Intel's Haswell platform will support a 4K-based panel from a single DisplayPort, or HDMI connection.
What do you think of Intel's announcement of 4K support on IVB? Disappointing because it requires two DP outputs, or surprising that they're at least noticing 4K support this early in the game?
Intel has expanded the choices available when shopping for a new mobile or desktop CPU. In addition to new chips, Intel has dropped the prices on some of its existing line up. Unfortunately, some of the new chips Intel released today are still based upon the older Sandy Bridge architecture.
Now, that wouldn't normally be a problem, except the model number is i3-3xxx, where the 3 stands for the Ivy Bridge generation. The chips are bottom barrel chips that most people wouldn't be buying, but the fact exists that there are Sandy Bridge chips, according to my sources, that are being marketed under the i3-3xxx brand.
The desktop update is pretty mundane. They added a CPU here and there, and dropped the prices on some others. It's the mobile market where the really interesting things are happening. Intel has released a new flagship mobile chip, the Core i7-3940XM, that rings in at $1,096. For that you get four cores, HyperThreading, and 3.0GHz of speed.
The full list of changes can be seen in the image. If it has a (SB) notation, it means it is based off of the Sandy Bridge silicon.
Looking for a new CPU? You may just want to hold off for a little bit longer, at least until you see what AMD is planning to bring to the table. Thanks to leaks, we can now provide you with an idea of what they may be planning for their Vishera line of FX CPUs, set to launch in Q3 or Q4 of 2012.
The launch plan looks to be similar to the launch plans of "Zambezi" in that they are launching one eight-core CPU, one six-core CPU, and one quad-core CPU. The launch of Vishera is supposed to be coordinated with the launch of their new APUs using the same processing core, Piledriver, which is an updated Bulldozer.
The eight-core FX-8350 will ship with a 4.00 GHz clock speed, with a speed of 4.20 GHz for TurboCore. The six-core FX-6300 will ship with a clock speed 3.50 GHz, and a 4.10 GHz TurboCore speed. The quad-core FX-4320 will feature the same clocks as the FX-8350 with half the cores. The document also provides some more information on AMD's upcoming APUs.
Intel's server parts are expensive, but they are worth it if you're running a mission critical application. Currently, the server chips are based off of the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture and it looks as though it will be staying that way for a while longer. Ivy Bridge-based server parts aren't due out until 2013, according to the latest roadmap.
The upcoming server platforms are called Brickland and Grantley and which one you use will be dependent on what sort of applications and processing power you are looking to utilize. Brickland will be used for mission critical applications and is set to support three generations of CPUs all the way through to Broadwell in 2015.
Grantley will be for efficient performance and won't debut until after the Ivy Bridge generation. The first chip that Grantley will support is the 22nm Haswell server variant. They will also be introducing a new storage controller which will bring performance and feature improvements. We should learn more as of Intel's upcoming meeting in San Francisco.
CPU World is reporting the different configurations that Intel's upcoming Haswell processors will come in, with respect to graphics core, memory channels, and processing cores. Some of the configurations break from the current Ivy Bridge in that the highest performance CPUs don't have the highest performing GPUs.
This actually makes sense in that a user who buys a top CPU will likely be running a discrete GPU. Intel is offering at least two different graphics configurations which will be joined to dual- and quad-core parts. The dual-core parts will also have a variation in that they may only come with one memory channel.
The graphic above summarizes the different configurations we are reportedly going to see with Haswell. Each memory channel will support either one or two DIMMs, with the ULT (low power) chips seeing the one DIMM per channel memory controller. Each DIMM will have a maximum capacity of 8GB, so the lowest amount of memory (or highest, depending on point of view) will be 8GB on the ULTs.
We're still a good distance from the release of Haswell, so it's a good idea to take these configurations with a grain of salt. That said, they do make sense, so it's not unlikely that they are accurate.