Tag: atom

Intel soups up its Atoms

Intel has souped-up its Atom chip, which is more famous for being an underperforming low-end chip for mobile devices.

The latest Atom C3000 chips have up to 16 cores and are more sophisticated than ever. Of course these are not going into smartphones – Intel has given up on that market. Instead they are made for storage arrays, networking equipment, and internet of things devices.

To be fair,  networking and storage devices don’t require much grunt, so a low-power Atom chip will work. Few Intel server chips have more than 16 cores. In this case though, the number of Atom cores means the chip can handle more streams of data.

Under the bonnet of the C3000 is RAS (reliability, availability, and serviceability) capabilities, which is mostly found on high-end Xeon chips. The feature corrects data errors on the fly and prevents networking and storage equipment from crashing.

Intel is also providing development kits for writing storage and networking applications for the chips.

The new chips are already shipping to testers and will become available in the second half of this year.

The Atom C3000 succeeds the C2000 which were originally targeted at microservers and networking and storage equipment. The Atom C2000 is currently in the centre of a row over a flaw that could crash servers and networking equipment. Apparently the C2000 came with a flaw which caused it to die after two years. Intel has provided a temporary fix, but the company is working on a permanent fix.

The Atoms are not the only thing that Intel is making for networking gear. It also has the new Xeon D-1500 chips for networking and storage gear that require quicker turnover of processed data. The chips integrate 10-gigabit ethernet controllers and have a technology called QuickAssist to drive throughput of compressed data up to 40Gbps (bits per second).

Redmond creates quantum proof encryption

atomium-BelgiumSoftware King of the World Microsoft has invented a form of encryption which it says will defend users from quantum computers.

The only problem is that quantum computers have not been invented yet so we will have to take Microsoft’s word on it that its encryption is safe.

Quantum computers deliver immense power that would be useful in many fields—but potentially break the strongest forms of encryption.

Microsoft research voles claim to have upgraded the encryption protocol that secures the Web to resist attacks from quantum computers.

Governments and computing giants like IBM, Microsoft, and Google are working on quantum computers because tapping subtle effects of quantum physics should let them solve in seconds some problems that a conventional machine couldn’t solve in billions of years.

Kryata Svore, who leads a research group working on software for quantum computers at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, says this was more than just an academic exercise.

“Given that scalable quantum computers are under development, it is crucial to prepare,” she said. “It can take a decade or more for a new cryptographic algorithm—or “primitive”—to be properly tested out and widely deployed, she says. “There is an urgent need to determine other primitives now.”

Surely this is just a matter of bringing in a few footballers.

The new quantum-proof version of TLS generates encryption keys using a different mathematical problem that’s believed to be beyond the practical reach of both conventional and quantum computers.

That system was tested by using it to encrypt data moving between two PCs, one taking the role of a Web browser and the other a Web server.

The quantum-proof encryption protocol moved data 21 percent more slowly than a version using elliptic curve cryptography, as some websites do today, but the researchers consider that penalty a reasonable one to pay if their idea is polished up for real-world use.

Transistors get atomic

atomium-BelgiumBoffins have emerged from their smoke filled labs with a transistor which works at an atomic level.

Physicists at the punchy titled Paul-Drude-Institut für Festkörperelektronik (PDI) institute and the Freie Universität Berlin (FUB), along with chums at the NTT Basic Research Laboratories (NTT-BRL), Japan, and the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) used a scanning tunnelling microscope to create a minute transistor consisting of a single molecule and a small number of atoms.

The observed transistor action is markedly different from the conventionally expected behaviour and could be important for future device technologies as well as for fundamental studies of electron transport in molecular nanostructures.

The complete findings are published in the August 2015 issue of the journal Nature Physics which we get for the spot the proton competition.

In atomic-scale transistors, current is extremely sensitive to single electrons hopping via discrete energy levels. Single-electron transport in molecular transistors has been previously studied but atomically precise control of the gate – which is crucial to transistor action at the smallest size scales has been impossible.

The team’s project involved building a transistor consisting of a single organic molecule and positively charged metal atoms, positioning them with the STM tip on the surface of an indium arsenide (InAs) crystal.

Means that the truly microtech has legs and might be with us in a decade or so.


Weak sales predicted for Surface 3

Book BurningMicrosoft’s Surface 3, which was released at the end of last month, doesn’t have a particularly bright future, if a market research report is to be believed.

Digitimes Research said that Microsoft is attempting to build on the success of the Surface Pro 3 but the analysts don’t hold out a great deal of hope for the product.

That’s because the machine costs over $600 and uses an Intel Atom chip and comes with Windows 8.1.

The Surface Pro 3 used an ARM design and came with Windows RT.

Digitimes Research believes that Microsoft has set the price of the unit so high because it doesn’t want to upset its customers by directly competing with them.

This seems a bit odd – just launching these kind of devices shows that it’s ready to compete with its PC partners – and as that’s really a given, it’s strange that Microsoft doesn’t go the whole hog.

Similar products from its partners for 2-in-1 devices cost less than $350. Its partners use the Intel Core M for models at the $600 price.

Who is going to be bothered to want one, given these disparities?

Dell launches new tablet

Dell TabletGiant multinational Dell said it introduced a new tablet to the market and it’s running the Android operating system, not Windows.

The Venue 10 7000 claims to have the best tablet display on the market – it uses a 10.5 inch OLED 2560 by 1600 pixel screen, is powered by a quad core Intel Atom, and also uses Intel’s “Realsense” snapshot camera.

The machine is aimed at the commercial market and can be managed by IT staff so that they can create profiles for business use as well as fun stuff when an owner isn’t earning a buck.

The business data is encrypted and Dell said it will offer Office for Android for the machine later this year.

It doesn’t come cheap though – prices start at $500 and if you buy the optional keyboard, the total price will be $629.

It’s not available yet, but Dell said it will ship in May 2015.

To cover its options, Dell also has added its “education portfolio” as part of the package.

Intel, Microsoft have terrible annuses

“Your shadow at morning striding behind you    
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;    
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.” – TS Eliot, The Wasteland    

Yeah, I am quite aware the plural of annum is not annuses but then the headline is more important than the body text.

Both Microsoft and Intel have had a terrible year and Janus, which rhymes with anus, suspects that 2014 won’t be much better for either.

Intel’s “customers” – for that, read compliant vendors – have, like Nero never did, fiddled while Rome burns. The X86 chip is not quite dead but considering the amount of money Intel spent on branding in the 1990s, it must be frustrating for the old lags at Chipzilla – those that are left of course – that the world+dog is not in the slightest bit interested in what component powers the smartphone and the tablet.

Intel, it could successfully be argued, brought it all upon itself by allowing the famous Atom to cannibalise its ever so famous brand.  It thought the gravy train would run forever but it found itself at the end of the line, hitting the buffers of indifference and even this old buffer doesn’t care about Intel any more.

The  notion that anyone in her or his right mind would pay over the odds because a machine had an Intel chip in it  is just plain busted.

Microsoft is a different case.  It’s heart is in the right place, that is if any multinational corporation can be said to have a heart. Intel certainly has never been challenged by sentiment.  But Microsoft lost the plot too – why would you choose a Microsoft operating system for a phone and a tablet when it has such a big slice of a PC’s pie?

This year has seen the brutal toppling of a quiet, charming man who has a large voice that can be heard 10 blocks away.  Steve Ballmer did not deserve the opprobium heaped upon him by, as Nick Farrell describes them, the Wall Street cocaine nose jobs.  Microsoft, like Intel, is now simply irrelevant.  The game has changed and both megamoths are tumbling into the dying flame of the X86 monopoly.

Say you are a diplodicus with a huge body and a tiny brain.  Does death take longer because of your bulk?  I can think of only one IT company that managed to successfully re-engineer itself, and that is IBM under the stewardship of the Nabisco man.  Getting in a geezer from Ford to run Microsoft is just plain nuts in May.

No one cares about the operating system, the motherboard, and the CPU any more.  Those days are gone.  A happy new year to all of our reader (sic) and lang may your lum reek.

Intel set to speed up 14-nanometer Atoms

Intel is set to announce a speeded up release date for its 14-nanometer Atom chips.

Barrons reports Chipzilla will announce the date nearly six months ahead of its previous roadmaps.

At the moment the mobile market is controlled by licensees of ARM which has little to answer a 14-nanometer challenge. The 14 nm chips will be smaller and more efficient, it is promised.

Stage one for Intel is to get its 22-nanometer Atom chips in the shops, which is expected by the end of the year. Then Intel bring out its still-faster 14-nanometer designs, roughly by Q2 2014.

Barron’s deepthroat at Intel says the company is likely to announce a schedule at IDF that would significantly trim the inevitable one-year lag for boosting the Atom chip to the next level in speed.

This means that Atoms will go into 14-nanometer production just six months after the Core chips.

The 22-nanometer Atom chips probably are about at parity with ARM-based chips in delivering the same performance at comparable power levels. But 14nm threatens to give ARM a canning if Intel can get it into the shops early enough.

It will move Atom so that it has a power advantage over ARM. The announcement at IDF might even come with disclosure of specific dates on which production of the 14-nanometer Core and Atom chips will begin. 

Intel Bay Trail-T to launch on 11 September

Intel’s new Bay Trail-T SoC appears to be ready for launch.

According to VR-Zone, the new SoC will official launch on 11 September, giving manufacturers plenty of time to come up with cheap x86 tablets in time for the holiday season.

It appears that Intel will introduce a total of four SKUs in the first batch. The Z3740 and Z3770 feature two memory channels, four CPU cores and 2MB of L2 cache. The Z3740D and Z3770D will be cheaper versions, with a single memory channel. The core count and cache size are the same across the range.

The Z3740 and  Z3740D should end up clocked at 1.8GHz, while 3770-series parts will run at 2.4GHz. That sounds rather high for an x86 quad-core with a mobile thermal envelope.

The dual channel parts should offer 17.1GB/s memory bandwidth, while D-series parts with a single memory controller top out at 10.6GB/s. Non-D parts also support DDR3L-RS 1333 memory and up to 4GB of memory, while D-parts support DDR3-1066 and up to 2GB of memory.

The GPUs are different, too. D-parts support resolutions up to 1920×1200, while their non-D siblings can handle displays up to 2560×1600.

Since Intel doesn’t like to talk TDPs anymore, it is merely stating that the Scenario Design Power (SDP) of the chips is between 2W and 2.4W.

Clover Trail to power new Galaxy Tab

Intel seems to have grabbed its first major smart device Atom win courtesy of Samsung.

The news is hardly surprising, as rumours of an Intel powered Galaxy tablet emerged a couple of weeks ago, but they were not confirmed. 

Now Reuters confirms that a Clover Trail+ chip will indeed power the upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. The exact specs of the new tablet, or chip for that matter, are still unknown. However, this seems like the first big Intel design win in a market dominated by ARM based SoCs, including Samsung’s own Exynos parts. 

It is a rather surprising turn of developments. At a time when Apple is pursuing custom ARM parts, Samsung is turning to Intel for mobile silicon. It wouldn’t be the first Samsung tablet powered by Intel, as the Korean outfit already uses Intel chips in ATIV Windows 8 tablets, but this is its first Android powered Intel tablet. The decision might bode well for Intel’s shiny new CEO Brian Krzanich, who is apparently planning to step up the chip maker’s mobile game. 

Samsung is expected to announce new ATIV tablets on 20 June, but it is still unclear when it plans to announce the third generation Galaxy Tab. Samsung tends to shy away from big events like Computex and MWC, preferring its own launch events, so it’s unlikely that we will see it until Computex is over.

Fashion bag maker Intel redesigns the Atom

Fashion bag designer Intel has detailed plans to give its Atom chip a make over.

According to CNET, Intel plans an announcement on 6 May to announce the latest design for the Atom.

CNET’s deep throats claim the new Atom will offer performance that gets closer to mainstream laptop processors and will be so far off the knee that the data centre will be visible.

It is the first time that the Atom has been redesigned since its launch in Netbooks five years ago. When the Atom processor appeared the world plus dog wanted one in their netbooks. When the netbook fad was replaced by the tablet, the Atom was left without a job. Chipzilla attempted to put them in tablets, mobile phones and supercomputers without much success.

The May announcement will be all about Silvermont micro-architecture, which will spawn Bay Trail and Merrifield processors for tablets and smartphones.

Intel has confirmed that its executive vice president Dadi Perlmutter will talk about Intel’s next-generation Atom micro-architecture targeted at a range of market segments from low power tablets and smartphones, to microservers and the data centre.

The new Atom uses a higher-performance out-of-order design, just like Intel’s mainstream Core processors, and a fast Intel graphics chip.

It will look a bit different from the usual Atoms we have come to know and shun on the mobile front.

Apparently it will integrate up to four processing cores based on the company’s 22-nanometer 3D transistor design and will be battery friendly.

Intel had to do something. Windows 8 tablets are getting faster and should be better at multitasking applications. The current Atom calls its union rep when when it is asked to do more than one job at a time.

Hints from Chipzilla suggest that products with the Bay Trail processor should appear in time for the holiday sales. Android phones using Merrifield processors should emerge by early next year.