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Intel lays foundation for 22nm Atom with Silvermont

Posted: 08 May 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone? data centres? FinFETs? microarchitecture?

Intel Corp. on Monday rolled out its latest low-power, high-performance microarchitecture, which will form foundation of 22nm Atom SoCs available later this year and will be built on Intel's 22nm FinFET process technology. The new Silvermont SoC takes aim at the low-power requirements in market segments from smartphones to data centres.

"Silvermont is a leap forward and an entirely new technology foundation for the future that will address a broad range of products and market segments," said Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer, in a statement.

Perlmutter said early sampling of Intel's 22nm SoCs, including Bay Trail and Avoton SoCs, is already getting positive feedback from customers. "Going forward, we will accelerate future generations of this low-power microarchitecture on a yearly cadence," Perlmutter said.

Intel claims the Silvermont architecture delivers industry-leading performance-per-watt efficiencya bold claim considering that ARM-based SoCs are generally regarded to have an significant power efficiency advantages when compared with Intel's X86 chips.

According to Intel, compared to the current-generation Atom processor core, Silvermont delivers about 3X peak performance or the same performance at about 5X power over a variety of standard metrics.

Silvermont was designed and co-optimised with Intel's 22nm SoC process using tri-gate transistors, Intel said. The chip firm claims the process offers a significant performance increase and improved energy efficiency.

"Through our design and process technology co-optimisation we exceeded our goals for Silvermont," said Belli Kuttanna, Intel Fellow and chief architect.

"By taking advantage of our strengths in microarchitecture development and leading-edge process technology, we delivered a technology package that enables significantly improved performance and power efficiencyCall while delivering higher frequencies," Kuttanna said.

Other highlights of Silvermont include:

  • An out-of-order execution engine to enable best-in-class, single-threaded performance.
  • A multi-core and system fabric architecture scalable up to eight cores and enabling greater performance for higher bandwidth, lower latency and more efficient out-of-order support for a more balanced and responsive system.
  • New Intel Architecture instructions and technologies bringing enhanced performance, virtualisation and security management capabilities to support a wide range of products.
  • Enhanced power management capabilities including a new intelligent burst technology, low- power C states and a wider dynamic range of operation taking advantage of Intel's 3-D transistors.

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