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Intel introduces Silverthorne and Tukwila

Intel introduces Silverthorne and Tukwila

*Actual die size. Or, at least we assume so..

At this year’s International Solid State Circuits Conference, Intel released more information on its new ultra low power 45nm processor dubbed “Silverthorne”.

It will be a 16-stage single core part built on IA architecture and a the same time, it will remain compatible with the Core 2 design. It uses an in-order pipeline but compensates for this by also reintroducing hyper-threading.

Intel claims the CPU will have a “10x lower power than the ULV Dothan” – Dothan was the 90nm, 2MB L2 cache single core Penium-M. The chip also uses 6T (transistor) bit cells, up from the normal four in SRAM, highlighting it as being “optimised (for) register-file and cache (access)”. Silverthorne features deeper sleep states than we've seen with Penryn and a split IO power supply making it use under 1W total in some configurations—even under load.

The in-order architecture is a step-backwards in many respects – the out of order (OoO) design inception with the Pentium Pro was a landmark performance increase for Intel, and it’s only recently that VIA’s latest Isaiah CPU has also implemented it, claiming similar fantastic performance increases. Previous VIA C-series CPUs have been categorised as being woefully underpowered, so will Silverthorne suffer the same fate?

Silverthorne, like VIA's C7, is predominantly made for MID (mobile internet devises) as part of the Menlow platform we originally saw in IDF last Spring. Expect to see more handheld products released, but given almost complete neglect for this market segment and the current trend for small and very inexpensive notebooks – EeePC clones might end up using this small platform instead.

That is, providing it has the cost and necessary performance when it arrives. On the topic of small, low power and inexpensive: there was no word on the new Diamondvile CPU and Shelton platform though – the new low cost platform is meant to replace the low power Celeron featured in the Asus EeePC.

On the other hand, Tukwila is at the other end of the scale – Intel’s new super-massive two BILLION transistor Itanium chip. It features 30MB on-die cache, integrates two memory controllers and is a native quad-core part with “don’t call me Hyper-Threading” Multi-Threading supporting up to eight threads. It’s also the first Intel processor to feature QuickPath interconnects, for which it has five, instead of a front side bus.

The CPU is built on Intel’s very mature 65nm process and claims “Energy Efficiency” by providing roughly twice the performance of the previous generation (Montvale) at 25 percent more power use – now making it a 130W part.

Big, small? Will either be any good? Let us know your thoughts, in the forums.

16 Comments

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Mankz 5th February 2008, 17:12 Quote
ME WANT TUKWILA!
Krikkit 5th February 2008, 17:20 Quote
Hot damn, 30MB of cache... Want one... Any word on release? 2009?
Mister_Tad 5th February 2008, 17:27 Quote
You do realise that being an Itanium, its going to predominantly be in behemoths from HP et al with price tags from 6 figures into the millions

We're not talking about a drop-in Core2 replacement here.
Mankz 5th February 2008, 17:32 Quote
I know, It still has a level of wantage though...
Bindibadgi 5th February 2008, 17:35 Quote
Yea Itanium is NOT x86 architecture - it's IA - Intel Architecture. The two aren't directly compatible.
Mister_Tad 5th February 2008, 18:06 Quote
And even then, a million quid Itanium uber-server would still get its ass handed to it by a modest C2D setup in gaming performance. That is, if you could get the game to even run on what's likely to be a pretty obscure, if not proprietary OS.

I know, I'm no fun :p

I'm kind of surprised that Intel is going to continue to pursue the IA architecture, with blades taking over the world and all. But I suppose if you need a thousand cores in one box for some reason, you don't have a great deal of choice in the matter.
Bindibadgi 5th February 2008, 18:28 Quote
It's pursuing it since the expectation is that it plans to continue it with 80-core(esq) teraflop parts with memory stacking and it's also been hinted that Larabee (GPU? GPGPU) will likely be IA too.

If Intel didn't have so much money, IA would have died long ago.
Mister_Tad 5th February 2008, 18:38 Quote
I guess its just a matter of them continuing to develop the technology, so they may as well try to sell a few while they're at it.

The number of Itanium boxes in "my" datacentre has gone down by what's likely to be an order of magnitude in the last couple years, swapped out by blades for the most part.
devdevil85 5th February 2008, 18:49 Quote
as long as AMD continues sucking (majorly), innovation from intel will continue to diminish....but they will be sure to let you know what they're working on....I mean aren't they already working on the 2nd-gen 80-core CPU?
DXR_13KE 5th February 2008, 21:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by devdevil85
as long as AMD continues sucking (majorly), innovation from intel will continue to diminish....

qft
Cthippo 5th February 2008, 22:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister_Tad
And even then, a million quid Itanium uber-server would still get its ass handed to it by a modest C2D setup in gaming performance. That is, if you could get the game to even run on what's likely to be a pretty obscure, if not proprietary OS.

I know, I'm no fun :p

You could load the machine with a linux for IA distro and run it in Cedega ;)

Granted there is unlikley to be any performance advantage, I'm just saying it could be done.

Does it bother anyone else when the chips are named after places you've been? I have no idea what Silverthorne is, but Tukwila is a dumpy suburban part of the Greater Seattle-Tacoma Urban Sprawl (It's the part between the south end of Seattle and the airport). Tukwila is best know for it's strip clubs, so hopefully this is optimized for porn servers!
Bluephoenix 5th February 2008, 22:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cthippo
I have no idea what Silverthorne is, but Tukwila is a dumpy suburban part of the Greater Seattle-Tacoma Urban Sprawl (It's the part between the south end of Seattle and the airport). Tukwila is best know for it's strip clubs, so hopefully this is optimized for porn servers!

I couldn't stop laughing after reading that.
Lukeatluke 5th February 2008, 23:33 Quote
With smaller architectur, numbers of diagnostic cancer are rising.... Health people :|
Bluephoenix 6th February 2008, 00:04 Quote
are you trying to say that smaller architectures cause cancer?

if so, learn one of the primary principles of statistics: just because data follows a similar pattern, doesn't mean its related.

its like the old example of the ice cream sales vs shark attacks.

they both go up over the same time period, but that isn't due to being interconnected. there is a third factor that might not be known execpt by investigation. in that case the number of people on th beach increases during the summer.

and the correlation could be like this: Smaller architecture, more computing power, better tools for early detection and better detection of cancers that are harder to detect.
r4tch3t 6th February 2008, 00:47 Quote
So do you think Glider could get Gentoo onto this without any RAM, one of his servers only has 18MB so I think a 30MB cache would be plenty?
I don't think Cedega would work though as it only works on X86 architecture, you would have to specifically code it for that architecture like they do for the PowerPC in older Macs. (Hmm The PS3's core is based on the powerPC architecture isn't it? Do you think they could get Starcraft playing on the PS3?)
Bluephoenix 6th February 2008, 01:00 Quote
depends if you had an instruction set to convert x86 to IA

that can be done either in hardware or software.

I'm sure it could be done as proof of concept, but would take some work and ingenuity (and Intel would probably pay mega bucks for it as it would open up IA a bit)
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