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Intel Engineering Samples, back in my Celeron 300A days, those things were the thing to have. You were pretty hectic to own one of those bad boys and these days, with the likes of eBay's and mainstream (and more accepted) overclocking, it's not as cool, but it still gets my nerd juices flowing.
The latest ES sample comes in the form of Intel's Ivy Bridge-based Core i5-3570K. Henry posted two CPU pictures on the Expreview forums, where we can see the Core i5-3570K is pretty similar to the Core i5-2500K, but it's process has been shrunk to 22nm, clock speeds are up and TDP is down. We have clock speeds of 3.4GHz, and just a 77W TDP.
The IGP featured on the Core i5-3570K is Intel HD Graphics 4000, which is stamped into the K-series of processors, as well as some Ivy Bridge processors. HD Graphics reportedly sports 16 EUs, whereas the current HD Graphics 3000-series has 12 EUs.
Expreview's article on it goes into some incredible detail with some benchmarks with the 4000-series vs. the 3000-series, but an overall test featuring 3DMark Vantage, Left 4 Dead 2, Street Fighter IV, Starcraft 2, DiRT 3 and Far Cry 2 see the 4000-series come out on top to the tune of 67.25-percent faster. This is not bad, not bad at all, considering it's integrated graphics.
Intel have introduced the third member of the LGA2011 Sandy Bridge-E family in the form of the Core i7-3820. The chip joins the ranks with the current chips, i7-3960X and i7-3930K.
The new Core i7-3820 has a clock speed of 3.6GHz, has just four cores with four hyper-threaded cores (versus the six-of-each on the two other SB-E chips), 10MB of L3 cache, Turbo Speeds of 3.9GHz, a max overclock multiplier of 45x, a TDP of 130W and a price of just $294.
This new chip is the Sandy Bridge-E chip, on a budget. AnandTech give three reasons why you'll want the Core i7-3820:
- You need PCIe 3.0 today and/or you need more PCIe lanes than a Core i7-2600K can provide.
- You need tons of memory bandwidth for a particular application.
- You want a 2600K but you need a platform that can support more memory (32GB+).
Yep, that's enough convincing for me. Looks tasty indeed.
Intel's new processor architecture codenamed "Haswell" won't see the light of day until 2013, but that doesn't stop information from leaking out onto the Internet about it. The successor to Ivy Bridge now has some more details on its embedded graphics processor, with DonanimHaber detailing the integrated GPU (iGPU) plans.
Haswell's iGPU will be DirectX 11.1 compliant, which means it will take advantage of API optimizations that improve performance, for "typical desktop usage scenarios". It also supports OpenCL 1.2, which will help in GPGPU-optimized applications, and is designed around a new stereoscopic 3D standard called Auto-Stereoscopic 3D (AS3D), which will benefit Blu-ray 3D acceleration, stereo 3D photos, and more.
It would be compared to entry-level GeForce or Radeon GPUs for acceptable performance with stereo 3D.
Something else to look forward to is a little thing Intel refer to as "digital display repartition". At the moment, current Intel processors with embedded graphics have relied on the PCH to perform all display I/O functions, the iCPU communicates to the PCH over the Flexible Display Interface (FDI), a special data link dedicated to this exact function.
AMD's client roadmap has revealed Hondo, a 4.5W APU with 1-2 low voltage Bobcat cores as well as an on-die DX11 GPU built on a 40nm process. Windows 8 will be the OS to receive some of AMD's Hondo lovin'. AMD is wanting to get serious of entering the sub-2W market, with mobile being a very important path for AMD.
AMD has talked about being "ambidextrous" when it comes to architectures, implying that AMD's future products will include chips with ARM-based CPU cores for markets where it makes sense. AMD have also said they will take advantage of all sorts of ecosystems, including Windows 8 and Android.
The AMD 2013 Client Roadmap unveils some interesting things indeed, with 2013 mobile chips "Kaveri", "Kabini", and "Tamesh" being three new APUs to be introduced. Kaveri will sport 2-4 "Steamroller" CPU cores, as well as a GCN-based GPU with HSA Application support. Kabini will feature 2-4 "Jaguar" cores backed up by a GCN-based GPU, and finally, Tamesh sports 2 "Jaguar" CPU cores, and a GCN-based GPU.
Desktop wise from AMD, we should expect the second-generation FX CPUs codenamed "Vishera" which will include 4-8 "Piledriver" CPU cores, "Kaveri" APU which will sport 2-4 "Steamroller" CPU cores, GCN-based GPU, HSA Application support and finally, "Kabini" which is identical to its mobile counterpart, sporting 2-4 "Jaguar" cores, and a GCN-based GPU.
IBM, hard at work obviously, have developed the smallest carbon nanotubule transistor, measuring in at just 9 nanometers (nm) across. Currently, the smallest transistors possible using silicon is 10nm across, so while it doesn't sound like a huge achievement, when talking in nm, it's actually quite the achievement.
IBM claims that the new transistor consumes less power, all while being able to carry more current than today's technology. John Rogers, Professor of Materials Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says:
The results really highlight the value of nanotubes in the most sophisticated type of transistors. They suggest very clearly, that nanotubes have the potential for doing something truly competitive with, or complementary to, silicon.
The smallest production-grade transistors are currently limited to 22nm.
Ivy Bridge is just weeks away, but this hasn't stopped Intel from releasing some new parts. Intel updated their processor price list over the weekend, debuting three new Core i5 desktop parts, and four single- and dual-core Celeron mobile parts.
The new Core i5 models are: Core i5-2550K, Core i5-2450P, and Core i5-2380P, with prices of $225, $195, and $177, respectively. All three of the new Core i5 models are quad-core models, which handle four concurrent threads, include 6MB of L3 cache, and a TDP of 95W. All three models do not include integrated graphics.
Clock speeds on the new models are 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost speeds of 3.8GHz, 3.2 and 3.5GHz, 3.1 and 3.4GHz for normal and Turbo Boost for the Core i5-2550K, Core i5-2450P, and Core i5-2380P, respectively.
The new Celeron mobile parts are the Mobile Celeron B815 (1.6 GHz, 512KB L2, 2MB L3, two cores, $86), B720 (1.7GHz, 512KB L2, 1MB L3, two cores, $70), ultra-low voltage 867 (512KB L2, 2MB L3, 2 cores, $134) and 797 (1.4GHz, 512KB L2, 1MB L3, single core, $107).
Globalfoundries CEO has called last quarter a "remarkable quarter," stating that Globalfoundries is back on track to "keep the momentum going," after a rough 12 months.
Globalfoundries' new fab in upstate New York is expected to ramp up 20nm tech in June, with Globalfoundries expected to spend more than $3 billion in capital expenditures this year alone. Last year, GloFo spent $5 billion on capex, so $3 billion doesn't seem as much now.
GloFo's Dresden-based facility is said to continue with its 32 and 28nm manufacturing, with plans to shrink all the way down to an insane 14nm. GloFo's CEO said during an interview with EE Times, that their competitors have only shipped "a few thousand wafers" when compared to GloFo's 700,000-plus.
Overclocking kills chips, we all know it does. It's never happened to me, because I'm l337, y0. But, it can happen and if it does, under Intel's new protection plan, you'll actually be covered. Intel already have a standard three-year warranty on its processors, but are now launching a new initiative aimed at protecting those who feel the need, the need for speed.
Intel call it the Performance Tuning Protection Plan, which gives you a free replacement CPU if you burn or blow yours up. It has started at four resellers today: CyberPower, Scan Computers, Altech Computers as well as Canada Computers and Electronics. The service is offered exclusively for K, X, and LGA2011-socketed boxed processors, with prices varying dependant on the chip.
For the i5-2500K, i7-2600K, i7-2700K, i7-3920K, and i7-3960X, it will cost you $20, $25, $25, $35, and $35, respectively. Not bad considering those chips are worth either hundreds, or over $1000 (in some countries). There are conditions, though. Intel only cover the chip for one replacement, and the failure must happen within its standard three-year warranty. You cannot rebuy the plan for the replacement chip, and you cannot buy several plans for a new processor.
Intel shook the hands of its two new partners at CES last week, with Lenovo and Motorola Mobility both at the hand-shaking end of that deal, where Intel also let ARM know its intentions of competing in the low-power consumption smartphone and tablet markets.
Lenovo went on to show off its K800 smartphone, sporting an Intel 32nm Medfield Atom Z2460 single-core processor with hyper-threading clocked at 1.6GHz. Motorola's product is currently in the final processes of preparation and is due to be delivered for carrier validation this summer.
Warren East, CEO of ARM, shrugs off Intel's attempt to strong arm them [that pun actually wasn't meant to be a pun, but I looked back and it works surprisingly well, so it stays] and says:
Intel has taken some designs that were never meant for mobile phones and they've literally wrenched those designs and put them into a power-performance space which is roughly good enough for mobile phones.
Microsoft have shuffled their feet a little bit and released two patches for AMD's Bulldozer platform according to the AMD Blog. AMD note that the AMD FX processors sport a unique dual-core module architecture codenamed "Bulldozer", which current versions of Windows 7 were not specifically architected to utilize.
In AMD's initial testing of the upcoming Windows 8 OS, they've seen performance improvements of up to 10-percent in some applications when compared to Windows 7. This comes down to the fact that the system correctly recognizes the AMD FX processor architecture, and cores. AMD put this down to a close collaboration between Microsoft and AMD, where Microsoft completed back-porting of some of the Windows 8 scheduler code for AMD FX processors and baked it into a hotfix, now available, for Windows 7.