Intel Announces new Silvermont Architecture

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Intel Corporation today took the wraps off its brand new, low-power, high-performance microarchitecture named Silvermont.

The new processor technology is aimed squarely at low-power requirements in market segments from smartphones and tablets to ultraportable laptops and client desktops. Intel believes Silvermont, which utilizes a 22nm Tri-Gate SoC manufacturing process, will be the foundation for a wide range of products coming to market later this year.

On a variety of standard metrics, Intel claims Silvermont offer roughly 3 times the peak performance or the same performance at roughly 5 time lower power consumption compared to the current-generation Intel Atom processor core.

Additional highlights of the Silvermont microarchitecture include:

  • A new out-of-order execution engine enables “best-in-class” single-threaded performance.
  • A new multi-core and system fabric architecture scalable up to eight cores that should enable greater performance for higher bandwidth, lower latency and more efficient out-of-order processing.
  • New IA instructions and technologies bringing enhanced performance, virtualization 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. Intel Burst Technology 2.0 support for single- and multi-core processing means scaled solutions for power efficiency.

In short, Silvermont will serve as the foundation for a range of 22nm products expected in market later this year. The performance-per-watt improvements with the new microarchitecture will enable a significant difference in performance and responsiveness for the various devices devices built around these processors.

Intel’s quad-core “Bay Trail” SoC is scheduled for release in the holiday season of 2013 for tablets and will more than double the compute performance capability of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering. Due to the flexibility of Silvermont, variants of the “Bay Trail” platform will also be used in a variety of market segments including entry laptop and desktop computers.

Intel’s “Merrifield” is scheduled to ship to customers by the end of this year. It will enable increased performance and battery life over current-generation products and brings support for context aware and personal services, ultra-fast connections for Web streaming, and increased data, device and privacy protection.

Intel’s “Avoton” will be focused on bringing this high performance-per-watt to the microserver, storage and scale out workloads in the data centers. “Avoton” is Intel’s second-generation Intel Atom processor SoC to provide full server product capability. “Rangeley” is aimed at the network and communication infrastructure, specifically for entry-level to mid-range routers, switches and security appliances. Both products are scheduled for the second half of this year.

Concurrently, Intel is delivering 22nm Haswell microarchitecture for Intel Core processors with full-PC performance at lower power levels. Intel also plans to refresh its line of Intel Xeon processor families across the data center on 22nm technology, promising better performance-per-watt and other features there as well.

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