Tag: broadwell

Intel releases a chip – shock

Intel bus - Wikimedia CommonsChipzilla has officially launched its new Xeon Processor E5 v4 today.

Xeon E5 v4, which will replace last year’s E5 v3 series will target a wide array of market segments, from high-performance professional workstations to multi-socket servers for big data. In fact the v4 is pretty similar and is even socket compatible.

The Broadwell-EP based Xeon E5 v4 uses Intel’s more advanced 14nm process node and the biggest of the chips can feature up to 22 processor cores (44 threads). The E5 v4 series still supports up to quad-channel DDR4 memory, but the maximum supported speed now tops out at 2400MT/s, up from 2133MT/s.

While this is significant, the rest of the platform remains mostly unchanged. Thanks to its additional cores, the E5-2600 v4 series now features up to 55MB of last-level cache. Support for 3D die stacked LRDIMMs has been added, along with DDR4 write CRC, and of course the higher speeds. Though, with three 3DS LRDIMMs per channel, the max supported frequency drops down to 1600MHz.

The changes to the Xeon E5 V4 family’s memory configuration bring in reduced latency and increased bandwidth. Intel’s numbers show up to a 15 per cent increase in bandwidth with latency reductions across the board.

In addition to these high-level updates, there are also new virtualization and security related features, along with more performance and efficiency enhancements as too.

Intel Broadwell-E details leaked

leakA Chinese website has leaked details about Intel’s Broadwell one of which will be a 10-core CPU with Hyper Threading support.

According to Xfastest there will be four new processors under the new High-End Desktop (HEDT) banner for Broadwell, which is one more SKU than Haswell-E. One of the more interesting is the Core i7-6950X which is a 10-core CPU with Hyper Threading. This gives it 20 threads to play with and 25MB of L3 cache.

The downside is that the CPU will be a little slow. It will run at just 3.0GHz and will be useless for software that is not properly tuned to take full advantage of large core counts and threads.

In some cases it would be behind the Core i7-6700K which is a quad-core Skylake processor clocked at 4GHz (base) to 4.2GHz (Turbo). The Core i7-6950X still has more L3 cache, but for tasks where raw clockspeed reigns supreme, the 3GHz chip might even lose out to the Core i7-4790K, a Devil’s Canyon part clocked at 4GHz to 4.4GHz.

If clock speed is important, Intel will release two faster-clocked six-core Broadwell-E processors and an eight-core CPU that strikes a balance between clockspeed and core count. The specs that Xfastest found show:

Intel Core i7-6950X: 10 cores, 20 threads, 25MB L3 cache, 3.0GHz
Intel Core i7-6900K: 8 cores, 16 threads, 20MB L3 cache, 3.3GHz
Intel Core i7-6850K: 6 cores, 12 threads, 15MB L3 cache, 3.6GHz
Intel Core i7-6800K: 6 cores, 12 threads, 15MB L3 cache, 3.4GHz

All of these processors will have a Turbo clockspeed, though information about the specific clockspeeds is unavailable. All socket LGA2011-v3 CPUs should be compatible with existing X99 Express chipset motherboards.

Why Intel killed Skylake-C

Sky-and-lakeIntel appears to have killed Skylake-C for financial rather than performance-reasons.

According to ITWorld the early tests on the Skylake-C showed that it was going to be a killer chip, but instead it was bumped off.

There will be a broad range of Skylakes for handhelds, tablets, laptops and desktops, many of which are already announced, but there will not be a Skylake-C.

The reason appears to be that wafer yields from Skylake-C were lower and this meant a combination of increased cost and lower yield.

Intel has had enough headaches with 14nm as it is, and there is the upcoming Kaby Lake processor, which we do not know much about.

Chipzilla said that it was responding to market demands.

Intel regrets Broadwell fiasco

regretsIntel regrets not allowing its Broadwell technology onto the market and thinks that it might have helped cause the slowdown in the desktop market.

Intel’s head of its Client Computing Group, Kirk Skaugen, has said that by not launching Broadwell-based chips for desktops, the chip maker’s might have harmed its bottom line.

“We didn’t build a fifth-generation Core product for desktop towers. We made an experiment and we said ‘maybe we’re putting technology into the market too fast, let’s not build a chip for the mainstream tower business.”

Chipzilla thought that skipping the Broadwell for PCs helped the firm to save on costs in terms of research and development. It seemed to make sense at the time, but with hindsight it was fairly daft.

After the end of the Windows XP refresh, users had little or no incentive to upgrade their systems, so they didn’t.

Skaugen thought the move contributed to the slowdown in the desktop business this year. The unit volumes for the desktop processor dropped 16 per cent year over year for the first quarter of 2015 and 22 per cent in the second quarter.

Intel will go back to refreshing its desktop chip on a yearly basis. Intel will release a “Skylake Refresh” chips for the PCs later in 2016 and its next-generation Kaby Lake chip for tower desktops in 2016.

Intel’s latest PC roadmap leaked

Intel_Cannonlake_Roadmap_WideThe latest Intel PC client platform roadmap, which covers the launch schedules of several next generation processors has been leaked  to the great unwashed.

The 2013-2016 roadmap gives key insights on how Intel will handle launches of its next generation 14nm and 10nm processors including Broadwell, Skylake and Cannonlake – codenamed CornFlake.

Intel is launching Broadwell in five SKUs in the middle of June. These include a mix of desktop socketed and BGA chips. The desktop socketed platform will include the Core i7-5775C and Core i5-5675C processors with Iris Pro graphics.

The Broadwell M, Y, Y lineups have already launched but are going to have a short life as they are soon going to be replaced by Intel’s 6th generation processors.

According to the roadmap, in Q3 2015, Intel will launch Skylake which will be its sixth generation of core processors and feature support on the 100-series chipset based motherboards. These will feature several Core i7 and Core i5 processors on the LGA platform.

Skylake will feature new IA CPU and graphics microarchitecture based upon the 14nm process. The TDPs will range from 95W on the enthusiasts chips all the way down to 65W mainstream and 35W low TDP chips.

IT will have a new graphics core with key improvements that push performance by 50 per cent the fastest GT4e graphics chips and reducing the overall power consumption by 60 per cent These are some major enhancements and one can expect Skylake to be a big game changer for Intel after several years of stagnant IPC increases on the previous processor releases.

Intel will also have a Skylake refresh platform in Q3 2016, a year after the initial Skylake platform which will come out with new processors. No details are known but the new chips will come with faster clock speeds.

Intel will steadily keep on releasing chips for their M, U and Y series platforms with the transition to Broadwell complete and the next phase to be initiated from Q4 2015 when the lineups based on Skylake processors are going to launch.

Soon after Skylake, Intel plans to release their first 10nm chips based on the Cannonlake (CornFlake) x86 core architecture in Q2 2016.  These will have an emphasis on the yearly notebook updates. Cannonlake is a step closer to extremely low power chips which can do wonders to mobile platforms. The mobile MQ series will launch in Q3 2016 for more performance intensive notebook designs. It means that Chipzilla will at least have 10nm chips available to consumers by next year however, the desktop parts won’t see the light of day till 2017.

Intel’s roadmap also gives a update on their High-End desktop platforms. Skylake-E will launch in Q3 2016. No details are provided but it is expected that the platform will issue a new series of chipsets and a different socket layout as compared to X99.

Intel shows off Broadwell

Intel President Renée James provided the assorted throngs at Computex with a debut of a next-gen “Broadwell” chip under the bonnet of a Llama Mountain device.

Billing it the “world’s first 14 nanometer fanless mobile PC reference design,” James went onto the hard sell about Chipzilla’s Broadwell processor.

Broadwell is a 14-nanometer “shrink” of the existing 22 nm Haswell processor. The smaller circuits result in a design that can enable more compact devices.

The Llama Mountain device is powered by the Broadwell Y series and wqill be branded the “Core M” processor. Chipzilla claims that it will be the most energy efficient Core processor in the company’s history.

Llama Mountain sports a 12.5-inch screen and is 7.2mm thick (0.28 inches) with the keyboard detached and weighs in at 670 grams (1.47 pounds).

“The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless and deliver both a lightning-fast tablet and a razor-thin laptop,” James said.

Other things mentioned in the keynote were Foxconn tablets. Foxconn executive Young Liu showed more than 10 Intel-based tablets available now or coming soon. Those include tablets based on the Bay Trail processor and “many” will include built-in 3G or LTE communications.

James mentioned the use of fast LTE silicon which is a Category 6-capable Intel XMM 7260 “LTE-Advanced” chip is now shipping to customers for interoperability testing. This new technology is expected to appear in devices in the months ahead James said.

There was also mention of a quad-core SoFIA LTE system-on-a-chip for low-cost phones and tablets is due in the first half of 2015.

Gamers will get 4GHz out of the fourth-generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processor “K” processor. “The first from Intel to deliver four cores at up to 4GHz base frequency. This desktop processor, built for enthusiasts, provide higher performance and enable new levels of overclocking capability. Production shipments begin in June of this year. 

Chipzilla speeds up Broadwell release

The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth rumour that Intel has changed its mind on delaying Broadwell

Last quarter the fashion bag maker said that it would delay mass production of the next-generation code-named Broadwell microprocessors, until the end of 2014.

Now X-bit Labs has found a new piece of information indicates Intel may start to roll out Broadwell chips as early as in the third quarter of 2014.

Intel claimed that the decision to postpone mass production of Broadwell was because of slow demand for personal computers in general and microprocessors and yields that were below Intel’s comfortable level.

Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, was fairly definite that while he was comfortable with where it was with yields, from a timing standpoint, it is about a quarter behind its projections. As a result, Intel was now planning to begin production in the first quarter of next year. It was simply a defect density issue.

Shortly after Intel made its official announcement, slides from the company’s roadmap made it to the internet and revealed that the chip giant only plans to start rolling-out its mainstream Broadwell microprocessors for desktops and laptops only in late Q4 2014.

Now word on the street is that Intel will begin to introduce various chips based on the Broadwell micro-architecture starting from the third quarter of 2014. This means that the first products featuring the new chips will show up at the forthcoming Computex Taipei 2014 trade-show in early June. As a result, it will be logical to expect them to arrive by back-to-school (BTS) season.

The roll-out of Broadwell is expected to be relatively slow and Intel’s main force for this year will continue to central processing units based on the Haswell micro-architecture, including those that belong to Haswell- refresh family. 

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU, part two

[Part one is here]

Kirk Skaugen, senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel took over in the second half of Wednesday’s IDF Keynote presentation. He began talking about the “2 in 1” computing platform. That raises the question: Have Ultrabooks slipped off Intel’s road map just when HP is announcing its HP ZBook 14 Ultra Workstation?

Kirk Skaugen


Perhaps they are simply not selling in the volume predicted at a couple past IDFs when Ultrabooks were announced? Skaugen put it this way: “Now we’ve stopped counting [OEM designs], and assumed that the entire world has gone thin”. He added that more than 40 percent of all Core notebooks have been designed with touch. Seventy percent of today’s Ultrabooks are touch-enabled, on the way to 100 percent touch later this year.

Skaugen said by this year’s holidays, the 2-in-1 form factor will be selling in the $999 down to $349 price range. He said that by the year’s end, there will be 60 2-in-1 devices in that future marketplace. Examples he showed were the Sony Duo 13-inch slider, the Dell XP 11, the Sony detachable – which only weighs 780 grams and handles both wired and wireless, and the Dell XP 12, which is a flip screen. An application from CyberLink will be provided on Haswell machines by the end of the year to energise content creation.

Skaugen handed over to Tami Reeler, Microsoft VP who discussed the Windows 8.1 released to developers. There was the usual sales story about how wonderful Windows 8 is.

In August, Windows 8 had the highest demand and sales, which was probably prompted by the back to school movement. She discussed Windows XP and its end of support in April 2014. She also claimed that “three quarters of the corporate users have moved to a modern Windows from Windows XP” – but she didn’t specify whether they were using Windows 7 or Windows 8.x.

Tami Reeler talks Windows 8 with Kirk Skaugen

Intel says that it has the business community handled with fourth generation core CPUs, SST Pro 1500 SSD, location-based security in the enterprise, and its new Pro-WiDI plus password free VPN connections – which got a round of applause from the audience.

Mario Müller, VP of IT Infrastructure at BMW, was next to join Kirk Skaugen on stage. There was some banter about a new BMW for everybody in the audience. Müller said that 55,000 of its 120,000 employees will be getting core i5 computers, but none of the audience will be receiving a BMW, unfortunately.

Mario Müller and Kirk Skaugen discussing new BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car 

Skaugen returned to topic saying that Bay Trail has 140 design wins and it runs all operating systems faster – Android, iOS, Chrome, and Linux. He talked about the Cinnabar benchmark using the fourth generation Broadwell 14 nm CPU. The chips will include AVX 3.2, DDR4 and PCI Express 4.0 support among their improved feature set.

Bay Trail SoCs are aimed at tablets and convertibles with screen sizes priced at $599 or below and will ship in tablets running Windows 8 and Android, ranging down to below $100 in price. When Chinese tablet OEMs start selling $100 price point 7-inch tablets with Bay Trail inside, then Intel will have to be taken very seriously by the ARM and MIPS partners.

Sony Duo slider as a tablet 

The discussions turned towards 3D. By Q2 2014, Intel predicts there will be collaboration over a 3D camera specification that will be implemented into Ultrabooks. We were told that Intel has had high numbers of downloads for its 3D SDK. It has the $100,000,000 Experience  and the Perceptual Computing Fund to work with.

Skaugen showed a 2D/3D camera that fits into the bezel of an Ultrabook. He gave an example of 3D functionality with a video showing children playing with an Ultrabook which had a 3D camera installed. Their expressions were of surprised joy.

3D developers should be glad to know that Project Anarchy is a free 3D game production engine and is ready to be downloaded and used.

Gonzague de Vallois, VP Sales and Marketing for Gameloft, showed off the company’s latest Android 3D auto racing game, referred to as Asphalt 8: Airborne, which takes advantage of Bay Trail and 3D graphics. At $4.99 it’s pretty affordable.

Gameloft’s Asphalt 8, for Android

Sundar Pichai, Senior VP Android Chrome & Apps at Google talked about the just-introduced Haswell CPU Chromebook and its stunning performance, extended battery life, and 3D capabilities. He also presented Doug Fisher from Intel’s Software and Services Group with an official Google Beanie cap – what a new hire at Google wears for their first days. After Pichai left the stage, Fisher said something about ‘that is a give away’.

Sundar Pichai gives Doug Fisher a Google Beanie

Over 1,000 Intel engineers are working on Google Android and Chrome.

Research firm NPD says Chromebooks represent 20-25 percent of the $300-or-less computer segment. Clearly, Intel has embraced Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems as a target market to put a lot of “Intel Inside”. 

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU: Part One

Wednesday’s IDF Keynote started by asking the audience to stand for a moment of silence in remembrance of lives lost on 9-11 in 2001. From there, it was business as usual with product hype and promises of future success.

Intel seems to be spotlighting health. It opened with a feel-good video of Jack Andraka, child prodigy and biology whiz. Andraka is a high school sophomore who won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in December 2012 for inventing a new method to detect a lethal form of pancreatic cancer.

From there, Intel moved into its theme of “The Internet of Things.” One thing that aroused curiosity was a dull white plastic wristband on every seat. It became an attention-getter later in the programme. In the meantime, everyone got a shot at the podium to talk about their pet project.

Doug Fisher, VP General Manager Software and Services Group, gave a few brief remarks, then introduced Dr. Herman Eul, VP General Manager Mobile and Communications Group. He started off with a video about MTV and Intel getting together to improve the audience’s experience because they do not really understand how wireless works, and what are its limitations.

Eul said the goal is to make the mobile platform smarter, the CPU more powerful, and the imaging performance better. He did a brief introduction of “Bay Trail,” the next-generation Atom Z3000 ,  focusing on it being used as a gaming platform. He showed that it is capable of running Windows – which is called heavy legacy software – or running Android OS, Apple OS, Chrome OS, or Linux OS. Bay Trail is a 64-bit processor, built using Intel’s Silvermont 22nm micro-architecture. There will be six variants of the chip available – with dual and quad-core configurations. Clock speeds will range from 1.8GHz to 2.4GHz.

Bay Trail’s Hardware and Software supports:  

  • Windows (32/64-bit) and/or Android and/or Chrome
  • Displays resolutions up to 2500 x 1600 (Retina display)
  • Dual independent displays
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology
  • Up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • USB 3, HDMI, Displayport, SD card, NFC, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • X 11, Open GL 3.0 graphics
  • Up to 13MP camera on the rear with Zero shutter lag, burst mode, digital video stabilization, 1080p recording at 60FPS and up to 2MP on the front.

Eul then brought Victoria Molina on stage, a fashion industry consultant and former executive for Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, and the Gap, who explained her virtual shopping experience application. They developed it using the Intel Android SDK in about a week  – but gave no information on the experience level of their programmers.

Molina said the most important part of this application is the fit map, an important factor in making the apparel attractive on the wearer, to attain a “cool” outcome. The application uses an avatar based around the person’s measurements, height and weight, and a facial photograph. The shopper goes out to the web site where they want to shop and chooses the clothing to virtually try on before purchasing. Next, the website pulls up sample clothing from their product lines.

After you build your ensemble of clothing, then you can adjust the clothing so the fit is tight, medium, or loose. After deciding on your look, you go through the “Cat Walk” show-n-tell process. That means the avatar is dressed with each one of the outfits in the size and drape you want and it looks like you are a model on a fashion show runway. Molina said, “This will revolutionise the online shopping experience. Because of the huge “cool factor”.

Next, Intel focused on a Bay Trail small-form-factor tablet running and editing videos. Eul invited Jerry Shen, chief executive of Asus, to introduce its T100, a 2-in-1 Bay Trail notebook with over ten hours of battery life. “We are very excited about the Bay Trail quad-core promise,” Shen said.

Asus is more optimistic than Intel regarding battery longevity. Intel claims Bay Trail tablets could weigh as little 14.1 ounces and offer more than eight hours of battery life when the users are watching high-definition video.

Neil Hand, Dell’s VP of Tablets, showed its  Venue 8-inch, Windows 8.1, Bay Trail tablet that is going to be shipping soon. He said it has 4G LTE.
Eul talked briefly about upcoming Merryfield, a 22nm SoC which is build on the Silvermont architecture specifically for smartphones. We were told that Airmont, a 14nm process engineering SoC with all the features of Bay Trail for tablets, is on schedule for Q3 2014 release.

Finally, Eul satisfied our curiosity by showing his audio DJ idea which activated those dull white plastic bracelets that were sitting on each chair. A video was projected onto the giant screens in the auditorium showing the Keynote audience and the wristbands lighting up in synch with Eul’s music.

The presentation took another turn with Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel which will be covered in part two.

Intel's Broadwell will mean a new mobo is needed

Fashion bag maker Intel has decided to break backwards compatibility and its forthcoming Broadwell chips will need a new motherboard.

This will be irritating to those who splashed out on the new 22nm Haswell processors which have only been available to buy since June this year.

According to Geekthe focus is already shifting to Intel’s next generation of chips and 9-series chipset.

Broadwell will see Intel move to a 14nm manufacturing process with the chips expected to arrive in the second half of next year, but that means that the new 8-series motherboard you buy  today will be out-of-date even if it still has the same LGA 1150 chip socket.

The 9-series chipset will incorporate a few compatibility breaking changes. This includes a 1.05V requirement for V_PROC_IO, support for a new type of power supply, and a different chip topology requiring a modified THRMTRIP output buffer.

But it is also possible that Intel will implement a Haswell chip refresh next year that will add support for the 9-series chipset changes. This means that the motherboard you buy this year will be old news.

The message is that if you buy a computer now you have to be ready to keep your PC exactly as it is for two to three years. If that is the case you will not lose any sleep over this news as Broadwell will be standard when you upgrade. But if you want to keep your PC fairly current it is probably better that you wait until next year. Buying Haswell with an eye on upgrading to a Broadwell processor could turn out to be damn pricey.