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Intel have cracked out the bubbly (and surely, some expensive scotch) to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Intel 4004, the world's first commercially available microprocessor. The release of the 4004 triggered the start of the digital revolution. Most people have never even see a processor, but devices that contain them have been integrated so deeply into our everyday lives, they have become pretty much indispensable.
Intel have thrown some numbers around that are very impressive, comparing the Intel 4004 to the second-generation Intel Core processors. Compared to the Intel 4004, today's second-generation Intel Core processors are more than 350,000 times the performance and each transistor uses 5,000 times less energy. Impressive? Just a little.
Next year sees Intel CPUs being developed on Intel's next-generation 22nm manufacturing process and are set to deliver even more energy-efficient performance as a result of Intel's breakthrough 3-D Tri-Gate transistors that make use of a new transistor structure.
NVIDIA have just announced that the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) is developing a new hybrid supercomputer that, for the first time, uses energy-efficient, low-power NVIDIA Tegra ARM VCPUs, together with high-performance NVIDIA CUDA GPUs. BSC is in the planning stages and hopes to roll out the new ARM-based supercomputer, with a near-term goal of demonstrating two to five times improvement in energy efficiency compared with today's most efficient systems.
BSC's ultimate research goal is to establish exascale-level performance while using 15 to 30 times less power than current supercomputer architectures. This so-called EU Mont-Blanc Project will explore next-generation HPC architectures and develop a portfolio of exascale applications that run efficiently on these kinds of energy-efficient, embedded mobile technologies.
As ARM gains more support around the world with ARM-based initiatives, NVIDIA have also announced plans to develop a new hardware and software development kit. NVIDIA's new kit, with hardware developed by SECO, will sport a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 ARM CPU accelerated by a discrete NVIDIA GPU.
Our latest poll had over 3,200 people who answered, with AMD's Bulldozer looked at in so many ways, how do you feel about it?
For once our poll results were fairly even with 30% saying that they were disappointed with AMD's Bulldozer. Sorry AMD.
21% of TweakTown readers said they would wait out the Sandy Bridge-E launch before making any decisions.
While suited toward a different crowd for the most part, AMD has made efforts to steal a bit of the limelight strongly shining on Intel and its Sandy Bridge-E/X79 platform by kicking out a big announcement of their own at the same time.
Adter several weeks of being delayed, today finally sees the launch of AMD's first 16-core Opteron server processors, the Bulldozer based Opteron 6200 series (formally known as Interlagos). According to John Fruehe, the director of product parketing at AMD, these new processors are said to be 25 to 30% faster than their 12-cored Opteron 6100 predecessors.
The new Opteron 6200 family of processors includes 6262 HE, 6272, 6274, 6276 and 6282 SE models, running at clock rates of between 1.6 and 2.6GHz with pricing starting at $523 US and going up to $1,019 US. Power draw from the new processors starts at 85 watts and goes as high as 140 watts. The chips are compatible with existing server sockets to make upgrades from older 12-core chips a breeze.
The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived and we can now feast our eyes on the horde of goodness that revolves around Intel's latest top tier performance platform, the LGA 2011 socket based Sandy Bridge-E and its respective X79 chipset.
With the launch now behind us we have our full detailed reviews online of both the top dog processor in the new Sandy-E line in the form of Intel's Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition, as well as our first full X79 motherboard review, putting arguably the most impressive X79 motherboard up on the test bench first - ASUS' mighty ROG series Rampage IV Extreme.
And if you stay tuned, a little later today we'll also be publishing our first Quad Channel memory review suited for use with the new platform.
Below, we have a picture of the AMD accelerated processing units in both FM1 and future FM2 packages, which the latter will be based on the next-generation Trinity APU. In the picture below, "Llano" FM1 APU is on the left, "Trinity" FM2 is on the right.
Both packages are pretty much identical, with the difference between them a set of blanked pins in the sub-central portion of the pin array. The FM2 package sports 904 pins whilst the FM1 package has 1 more at 905 pins. One pin is blanked, whilst a pair of blanked pins are arranged further away from the central cutout.
Intel's new Sandy Bridge-E flagship processor, the Core i7 3960X has been thrown through a handful of benchmarks by Chinese website Inpai.com. The benchmarks put the i7 3960X head-to-head against the Sandy Bridge-based i7 2600K.
Intel's Core i7 3960X will be the bees knees of the Sandy Bridge-E series, featuring 6-cores and 12 threads clocked at stock clocks of 3.6GHz and 3.9GHz when using Turbo Boost. The chip uses a maximum TDP of 130W, features 15MB L3 cache and launches on November 14.
ARM have just announced its next-generation mobile GPU, the Mali-T658. ARM have said that this design is set to offer ten times the performance of their current Mali-400 MP which is found in smartphones such as the amazing Samsung Galaxy S II handset.
T658 is ARM's second GPU using an architecture it calls Midgard. Midgard is designed to support both 3D workloads using modern APIs, with support for both OpenGL ES and Microsoft's Direct3D 11, and computation workloads using OpenCL, Microsoft DirectCompute, and Google RenderScript. Compute tasks get some love, with Midgard supporting full IEEE 754 floating point.
The first Midgard design, the T604, was announced last year, and was licensed by companies such as Samsung and LG. The new T658 is quite the powerhouse, with each core having four arithmetic pipelines, and one each of load/store for texture, doubling the number of arithmetic pipelines found in the T604. Up to eight cores can be integrated into a single GPU, again representing a doubling in performance relative to T604, which allows up to four cores to be ganged together.
Ivy Bridge isn't even here yet, and we're seeing details on Intel's next-generation processor architecture, Haswell. Haswell will be a brand new architecture based on a 22nm fan process which will be matured by Sandy Bridge's successor, Ivy Bridge. This is Intel's "tick-tock" product development model, where we see a "tock" being a new x86 architecture, and a "tick" miniaturizes it to a newer silicon fabrication process.
If Intel's 22nm process all goes to plan, Haswell has an ETA of Q2 2013, with Ivy Bridge taking the lead from Q2 2012 until then. Haswell will feature an all-new socket, LGA1150, which means it will not be compatible with LGA1155 boards. The reason behind this is that Intel have implemented drastic changes in the pin map of the package.
There has been a major change with the component arrangement in the platform that is affecting Haswell's pin map, more specifically, it's Haswell's higher bandwidth chipset bus, rearranged PCIe pins (with FDI pins), rearranged power pins, and miscellaneous pins. It also throws away the separate power domain for the integrated graphics controller.
A British retailer has listed two hexa-core Intel Sandy Bridge-E chips on their website, the Core i7-3930K and Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition. The i7-3960X is priced at £850.79 (inclusive of taxes) which coverts to roughly US$1,361.
The unlocked Core i7-3930K sits at £477.59 (inclusive of taxes) which is around US$764. Earlier this month a Chinese retailer listed these chips, at different prices. The Chinese retailer had the Core i7-3960X Extreme Edition at the equivalent of US$1,227 with the Core i7-3930K sitting at roughly US$912.
The British store is $150 cheaper on the Core i7-3930K, but still a long way from the $583 price point that the chip is meant to be. Then we have the British store quoting a price of $130 higher for the Extreme Edition-flavored Core i7-3960X. Whichever way you look at it, we'll be waiting for proper pricing and its not long to go. This is also what happened when the competition is bulldozed at launch.