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Just nine years ago Intel was sitting at 65nm CPUs, reaching 22nm just three years ago now. We've been enjoying 14nm CPUs since last year, but now it's time to move onto 10nm, 7nm and beyond.
Broadwell arrived as the Core M processor, but for the 14nm desktop CPUs, we will be waiting until sometime in 2015. After the 14nm-based desktop Broadwell processors arrive, we have to look forward to 10nm sometime late next year or possibly 2016, while 7nm is planned for 2017 or so. The 10nm node is going to be an interesting transition, as the semiconductor industry will have to upgrade to EUVL technology.
While Intel edges closer to 14nm on the desktop, with 10nm now in its sights, what about AMD? AMD are currently using the 28nm process, which will be used throughout most of 2015, as they rely on fabrication plants like GlobalFoundries and TSMC do to their bidding. Intel could Tick-Tock ahead a few notches in that time, that's for sure.
AMD is hoping for some serious improvements in the energy efficiency of its APUs by 2020, where the chipmaker is aiming for a massive 25x improvement. In order to reach this goal, AMD will have to outpace historical energy efficiency by over 70%, but the company is optimistic that it can do this.
The company has goals in terms of energy efficiency, where it wants to have "more performance with less power", as well as "long battery life, sleek light weight form factors, cool and quiet computation" mixed with "lower energy consumption and utility bills, lower Total Cost of Ownership" and a "reduced environmental impact".
Using a comparison of a 35W notebook processor released this year, versus a 35W processor from two years ago, the new notebook processor is twice as fast. You can say that the energy efficiency has improved by 200% as well, but the older 35W processors no longer fit into notebooks. AMD needs to find a way to reduce power consumption, as well as increasing the performance of the processor. Up until now, we've seen Intel and AMD do one or the other, but not both to the extent of 200% leaps each time.
Intel's Retail Edge Program's end-of-year benefits have been released. If you're an employee of certain technology companies (mobile phones included), you can join up to this project and reap the sale rewards. This information has been provided through Chiphell's online forum.
There are two main deals on offer, seeing Intel clear out their Core i7-5930K 3.5 GHz processor's for as low as $159 US, alongside their Core i7-4790K 4.0 GHz for a crazy $79 US.
If you think you're eligible for this program, you can register through your employee's certification to the Intel sales network. Once tasks are completed, you add 'points' to your account, allowing you to reach certain levels of discounts ranging from Producer, to Rockstar and finally Rock Legend - providing the best pricing.
During the 2015 IEEE international Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in February 2015, Intel will reveal more technical details about its upcoming Haswell-EX processor. This processor will be the most complex CPU the company has ever made.
Intel's Xeon E7 v3 "Haswell-EX" processor will work in motherboards with up to eight sockets, packing 18 cores (and 18 Hyper-Threaded cores) for a total of 36 threads per CPU. We will also have 45MB of last-level cache (LLC), quad-channel DDR4 support, PCI Express 3.0 and much more. The new Intel Xeon E7 platform will usher in new reliability, availability, scalability (RAS) capabilities, something that will bring Intel closer to the older Itanium-based servers.
The Haswell-EX processor will be using Intel's 22nm Tri-Gate technology, packing in an insane 5.56 billion transistors, making it one of the most complex x86-based processors ever made.
As a result of a class-action lawsuit against HP and Intel, the chipmaker will have to give $15 to those who have purchased an Intel Pentium 4 processor about 15 years ago.
As of now, this applies to those who are residing in the United States and have purchased computers for personal/general use with Intel Pentium 4 processors between November 20, 2000 and June 30, 2002. The lawsuit points out that Intel and HP have deliberately manipulated benchmark scores for the Intel Pentium 4 processors at the time it was facing tough rivalry from AMD. There were also allegations that Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon line ups at the time performed better in comparison to Pentium 4 line ups.
The lawsuit states that Intel secretly wrote benchmarks which would favour Pentium 4 processors. The company also paid software companies to make changes to favour Pentium 4's performance scores for third-party benchmark software, so that it will stand out against AMD. The benchmarks that were in question were WebMark2001 and SysMark 2001. Both companies have denied these allegations but said that they were willing to settle the matter via compensation. You do not require to show a purchase invoice that you've bought a Pentium 4 powered PC during that time frame, but you will need to present some proof such as the retailer's details and date of purchase.
Intel may have just launched its Haswell-E and X99 platform, but that doesn't stop the chipmaker from teasing its upcoming HEDT (high-end desktop) processor train from slowing down. We're now hearing about the next-gen HEDT tech, Broadwell-E, which will be based on Intel's 14nm technology, using the same LGA2011v3 package.
The new CPU will not be an architectural change, but it will provide smaller changes over what we have with the current Haswell-E processors. The new Core i7 Broadwell-E will be built on Intel's 14nm process, and will feature between 6 and 8 cores based on their, you guessed it, Broadwell microarchitecture. These cores will feature up to 20MB of L3 cache, and is pin-compatible with current Haswell-E, meaning we have quad-channel DDR4, too.
Intel could provide the full 40-lane PCIe interface, instead of the cut down 28-lane PCIe interface that the entry-level HEDT currently has. We should expect a 140W TDP, even with the die shrink, when the Broadwell-E processors launch in 2016.
AMD would be announcing its next generation notebook APU Carrizo-L in December. The processor is based on a 28nm quad-core architecture based on their Excavator core.
The notebook APU will have support for 2133MHz DDR3 memory. The news reported pointed out that Carrizo-L will succeed AMD's Beem and Mullins APU which is currently positioned for entry-level notebooks and tablets. It was also pointed out that this will also be 'officially' compatible with Windows 10. The rest of the operating systems, such as Windows 8.1, Ubuntu and SLED operating systems were added on the list.
The APU is designed for entry-level notebooks and will be placed to compete against Intel Pentium and Celeron series processors. But as far as mainstream segment is concerned, AMD would not be releasing the full-fledged Carrizo APU before March 2015 which will be succeeding after the long running Kaveri APUs. According to another report, Carrizo will be supporting both DDR3 and DDR4 along with an on-package memory die. It is also speculated that Carrizo series will have a desktop APU variant, which will be using the existing FM2+ socket motherboards. The expected timeframe for the desktop variant is also assumed for March 2015 launch.
Intel is forging ahead with its plans to reach 10nm, investing a massive $6 billion in upgrading its Fab 28 chip manufacturing plant in Kiryat Gat, Israel. This investment will support the manufacturing of the 10nm process node.
As it stands, Intel is standing on 14nm, which caused the company to experience unforeseen delays as the shrunken node provided more challenges than the company expected. 10nm is the next step for the company, with Israel's finance minister Yair Lapid claiming that Intel has settled on its facility in Kiryat Gat, with it being the first to push forward with 10nm.
This is thanks to the massive $6 billion investment, and a $300 million government grant as well as a ten-year reduction in corporate tax payments. Lapid says: "Intel's investment is a strategic asset for Israel's industry. This is the biggest investment by a foreign company ever in Israel and is further proof that Israel is at the forefront of technology and innovation".
ASRock's main overclocking man, Nick Shih, has used the company's X99 OC Formula motherboard with Intel's new Haswell-E based Core i7-5960X processor to hit dizzying new heights. Shih has overclocked the mammoth new processor to an insane 6.6GHz.
Shih hit 6594MHz specifically, disabling all but one core on the 16-threaded processor. An insane amount of voltage was pushed through the processor, with Shih pushing a huge 1.818V through the CPU. Shih took to his Facebook post to show off his adventures, with 6.6GHz being a huge achievement, now we just need to see 6GHz+ with all cores enabled!
AMD has announced a new multi-year agreement with Synopsys IP that will see the chipmaker receiving a slew of Synopsys DesignWare intellectual property on its advanced 16/14nm technologies, as well as its upcoming 10nm FinFET technology. AMD will be handing over specific IP and engineering resources to the company. Considering NVIDIA just catapulted it's more-than-impressive GeForce GTX 900 series, there's never been a better time for AMD to partner up with someone who can handle the move to smaller processes.
The agreement sees AMD securing interface, memory compiler, logic library and analog IP from Synopsys, where it will use these technologies to create future generations of its chips on the 14nm and 16nm FinFET manufacturing process, eventually moving onto the 10nm process down the track. Synopsys will reportedly hire around 150 of AMD's IP & R&D engineers and receive access to AMD's leading interface and foundation IP. AMD will be saving money with this deal, but provides some holes in its resources, while Synopsys is only gaining from this deal.
If you've never heard of Synopsys, they are a leading power in silicon-proven IP for advance process technologies, with the company helping chip designers on a broad range of high-end IP for integration into system-on-chips, or SoCs, as well as delivering expert technical support. This power allows companies like AMD to come to them, in order to save money on pumping into their own R&D. But, AMD still packs a punch when it comes to the complex IP used in advanced microprocessors and GPUs. AMD will gain silicon-proven IP for its chips over the coming years, while handing over interface and foundation IP, as well as engineers to Synopsys, something the company explains will give it the ability to "focus its valuable engineering resources on its ongoing product differentiation and IP reuse strategy".