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Intel's Avoton Atom tipped as an eight-core OoOE part

Intel's Avoton Atom tipped as an eight-core OoOE part

Intel's Avoton Atom chip is rumoured to include eight physical processing cores and out-of-order execution capabilities in a true system-on-chip design.

Leaks regarding Intel's upcoming Avoton 22nm Atom processor suggest that the company is serious about working to keep Cambridge-based rival ARM out of the microserver market, pointing towards a chip that has more in common with a high-end Xeon than its netbook- and mobile-oriented namesakes.

According to an unnamed Intel source speaking to Chinese-language news site MyDrivers, the 22nm Avoton Atom processor - due to launch next year alongside Intel's Haswell chips for desktops and laptops - will include features designed to make it the darling of the burgeoning microserver market.

First, the specifications: the first Avoton chips are expected to reach clockspeeds of 2.4GHz with Turbo Boost support to push the speed up to 2.7GHz if two cores are doing most of the work. An on-board DDR3 memory controller will provide dual-channel access to DDR3-1600 RAM, along with on-board controllers for up to four gigabit Ethernet connections, four USB 2.0 ports, two SATA III and four SATA II connections, and PCI Express 2.0 support for sixteen lanes. In other words: it's a true system-on-chip (SoC) design.

More important than the clockspeeds and controllers, however, is the claim that Avoton will support out-of-order execution (OoOE,) a feature missing from other Atom chips which can significantly improve performance by making use of spare processor cycles during idle periods.

Another serious shift is in the number of physical cores: where current Atom processors limit themselves to two cores, extended to four virtual cores with Hyper Threading, it's claimed that Avoton will pack up to eight physical cores in the highest-performance model. Assuming Intel includes Hyper Threading support, that will provide servers with sixteen logical processing cores per chip - and we're expecting to see plenty of these chips crammed into compact spaces.

Despite all these features, and support for Intel's hardware virtualisation extensions and ECC memory, it's claimed that the parts will be available between 5W and 20W TDP.

Intel will not comment on the accuracy of the claims, stating only that it doesn't comment on 'industry rumour or speculation,' but with Avoton due for a release towards the second half of next year we shouldn't have long to wait to see if the Atom chip can keep ARM's Cortex-A15 at bay.

17 Comments

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Nexxo 19th October 2012, 13:08 Quote
Do want.
Kacela 19th October 2012, 15:23 Quote
Another nail in AMD's coffin...
james888 19th October 2012, 15:32 Quote
I want one of these as a toy. What could I do with 18 cores? hmmm... but that is the fun in it.
GuilleAcoustic 19th October 2012, 15:46 Quote
Just bought an Atom D2700 (used as an internet browsing machine) and I'm surprisingly pleased by it. Except their crappy "windows 7 32 bit only" driver, this is a nice little chip. Just can imagine how an 8 cores will run :D
Fused 19th October 2012, 16:25 Quote
Anyone else drawn to this article simply to find out what an earth 'OoOE' is?
greigaitken 19th October 2012, 16:55 Quote
seems like intels gpu was going in the right direction just they should have left it's function as a cpu. I think they had 64 cores on 65nm, that could be 500 cores on 22nm same die space. i know its a bit trickier than lego and not all cores are equal but you would still have 500 x86 modules in one package.
B1GBUD 19th October 2012, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fused
Anyone else drawn to this article simply to find out what an earth 'OoOE' is?

Yup!
Nexxo 19th October 2012, 19:56 Quote
It's the sound geeks make when presented with an 8-core CPU with 20W TDP max:

4Is5XrsRH4c
play_boy_2000 19th October 2012, 21:39 Quote
I don't get what all the fuss is about? Sure it has a bunch of cores, but unless 2 of the 8 cores can turbo boost to 6Ghz, the single threaded performance is going to just suck.

Maybe if intel dumped a 1/2 speed QPI link in there and sold a server with 1x skt 2011 and 6x atom chips as co-processors, i might take interest.
dicobalt 19th October 2012, 21:59 Quote
But.. but.. I want an 8 core netbook :(
james888 20th October 2012, 05:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
I don't get what all the fuss is about? Sure it has a bunch of cores, but unless 2 of the 8 cores can turbo boost to 6Ghz, the single threaded performance is going to just suck.

Maybe if intel dumped a 1/2 speed QPI link in there and sold a server with 1x skt 2011 and 6x atom chips as co-processors, i might take interest.

As a toy sir as a toy
james888 20th October 2012, 05:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by james888
I want one of these as a toy. What could I do with 8 cores? hmmm... but that is the fun in it.
play_boy_2000 20th October 2012, 06:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by james888
As a toy sir as a toy

I have a pentium 4 641 sitting on my desk that I use as a toy, and oddly enough probably has more oomph than any atom, performance per watt aside. It makes a really great-ish spinning top.
bullseye 20th October 2012, 11:28 Quote
"Intel refuse to comment on industry rumour or speculation", That they leaked to make customers hold off on using the Arm.
IvanIvanovich 20th October 2012, 17:55 Quote
If they do release something like that, and have similar price to current Atom it will be a huge winner. I suspect it would be priced a lot closer to Xenon though, making it largely pointless.
Andy Mc 21st October 2012, 08:37 Quote
If they put this in a netbook then I can finally watch HD content without getting an add in card.
javaman 21st October 2012, 15:37 Quote
/in fat *******s voice, "Get in my netbook"
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