Tuesday, October 16th 2012

Intel Atom Gets Feature-Set Overhaul in "Avoton" for Micro-Servers

With ARM gaining a foothold in the micro-server market, with multi-core processors, Intel is stepping up its response. A key component of Intel's next-generation "Edisonville" micro-server platform, Atom "Avoton" will be designed with a formidable feature-set over what the current-generation Atom "Centerton" offers, according to a MyDrivers report based on a leaked company slide.

Atom "Avoton" will be built on Intel's 22 nm silicon fabrication process, with anywhere between 2 to 8 cores, backed by 1 MB to 4 MB L2 cache. The cores will be designed to support out-of-order processing, correcting a longstanding limitation of Atom processors. The cores will likely be designed with a balanced instruction set to maximize performance per Watt. Processors in the Atom "Avoton" series will be clocked around 2.40 GHz, and will support Turbo Boost technology, which drives core clock speed up to 2.70 GHz. Another big feature change is an expanded IMC, which will support dual-channel DDR3-1600 / DDR3-1600L memory. Enterprise features such as ECC memory and Intel VT, will be included. The chips will likely be built in FCBGA packages. TDP for these chips will be under 20W.

Source: MyDrivers
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18 Comments on Intel Atom Gets Feature-Set Overhaul in "Avoton" for Micro-Servers

#1
Prima.Vera
Who's the idiot that come with the Avo(r)ton name??
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#2
Ikaruga
This is a quite significant in my opinion. Eight cores with out-of-order, ECC, VT, turbo boost,etc: all these under 20W?... looks like they are going really serious on the power consumption now. Awesome, me thinks.
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#3
Fourstaff
by: Ikaruga
This is a quite significant in my opinion. Eight cores with out-of-order, ECC, VT, turbo boost,etc: all these under 20W?... looks like they are going really serious on the power consumption now. Awesome, me thinks.
Mobile Ivy Bridges already reached 14w(2/4), and dual core Atoms hit lower than 5w, so 20w is achievable if slightly ambitious. Question is, how powerful are these when compared to Ivy Bridges?
Posted on Reply
#4
Ikaruga
by: Fourstaff
Mobile Ivy Bridges already reached 14w(2/4), and dual core Atoms hit lower than 5w, so 20w is achievable if slightly ambitious. Question is, how powerful are these when compared to Ivy Bridges?
I know that these are the "fruits" of the awesome SB/IB family, where power consumption figures were already quite low, but Intel is aiming for the server segment with this lineup, and that's the segment where Atoms were too weak to be an option most of the times.
I expect them to perform like cores in mobile CPUs of course, but still, getting CPUs with eight Ivy bridge cores in micro-servers would be a great step ahead.
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#5
Fourstaff
by: Ikaruga
I know that these are the "fruits" of the awesome SB/IB family, where power consumption figures were already quite low, but Intel is aiming for the server segment with this lineup, and that's the segment where Atoms were too weak to be an option most of the times.
I expect them to perform like cores in mobile CPUs of course, but still, getting CPUs with eight Ivy bridge cores in micro-servers would be a great step ahead.
Well if people are starting to use ARM in their microservers, I think too weak is not an issue here. The issue here is whether the new Atoms will be powerful (and cheap) enough to be competitive against the ARM processors, and the capacity for these Atom processors to eat (and lower) the prices of the budget IVB processors.
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#6
mumak
This is a SoC (so the PCH is integrated) based on Silvermont core.
~20W is the max with 8c SKUs for microservers. There will be of course variants optimized for low-power segments.
This new Silvermont seems to have a lot of potential.
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#7
3870x2
I remember waiting forever for the dual-core laptop atom for a long time. Was it ever released?
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#8
Ikaruga
by: Fourstaff
Well if people are starting to use ARM in their microservers, I think too weak is not an issue here. The issue here is whether the new Atoms will be powerful (and cheap) enough to be competitive against the ARM processors, and the capacity for these Atom processors to eat (and lower) the prices of the budget IVB processors.
More cores are always welcome in servers (multi-threading to run many things on the server at the same time, interrupt affinity to speed up things under heavy load,etc). Also: current Atoms are pretty much useless if the running code is not optimized/suitable for in-order-execution, and speed is always an issue;)
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#9
Wrigleyvillain
PTFO or GTFO
Awesome...getting interested in running more servers at home for training purposes of late so the more options the better.
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#10
lilhasselhoffer
Finally, an atom worth using in anything but a low end media server. I'm looking forward to replacing an aging media server that is currently running an atom (poor choice, if not particularly painful).


My obvious questions are:
1) Will it have a decent amount of SATA connections, or will they have to have an additional chip?
2) Will this atom actually perform like a small IB/SB processor, or will it be another atom?
3) What exorbient fee will Intel charge for the "privledge" of getting on of these processors?
4) When will consumers actually be able to see these in the wild?


Without answers to 3 and 4 this article is Intel looking to get PR without any actual dates. I'm getting tired of that, considering how delayed socket 2011 is. In nearly a year there are just starting to be boards that offer all the features socket 2011 should have had at launch (read: SAS connections for drives). Hopefully, Atom delivers more efficiently....Hopefully...
Posted on Reply
#11
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
by: lilhasselhoffer
My obvious questions are:
1) Will it have a decent amount of SATA connections, or will they have to have an additional chip?
These chips are designed for micro-servers (a maximum of two storage devices, most of the cold data is cloud-stored), so I don't think so.

by: lilhasselhoffer
2) Will this atom actually perform like a small IB/SB processor, or will it be another atom?
It's in-between. You get out-of-order execution, EM64T, dual-channel IMC, and an instruction set somewhere in between Core processors and Atom (don't expect SSE4, AVX, etc.)

by: lilhasselhoffer
3) What exorbient fee will Intel charge for the "privledge" of getting on of these processors?
You don't get one of these processors. You get servers running them. Just like today's Atom, (including Atom "Centerton") these chips will most likely be built in FCBGA (ball-grid array) packages, so they come soldered to the system board right out of the factory.

by: lilhasselhoffer
4) When will consumers actually be able to see these in the wild?
I think that's the idea.
Posted on Reply
#12
[Ion]
WCG Team Assistant
So will we be able to buy one of these Atoms just on a motherboard, not as part of a server?
Posted on Reply
#13
lilhasselhoffer
by: btarunr
These chips are designed for micro-servers (a maximum of two storage devices, most of the cold data is cloud-stored), so I don't think so.
That is an absolute shame. Hopefully someone, like Supermicro, will rectify this.



by: btarunr
You don't get one of these processors. You get servers running them. Just like today's Atom, (including Atom "Centerton") these chips will most likely be built in FCBGA (ball-grid array) packages, so they come soldered to the system board right out of the factory.
My lack of clarification. I know atom is exclusively BGA packaging. The processors don't come out with separate boards (a good thing considering BGA soldering sucks hard). I was not asking for one of these processors by itself, and wasn't adequately clear.
Posted on Reply
#14
de.das.dude
Pro Indian Modder
Why Edison ville!

edison did nothing. he never made anything awesome. he was only a marketer. not an inventor like tesla. name it Tesla!
Posted on Reply
#15
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
It's not about Edison, but Edisonville (Pennsylvania). Intel codenames its stuff after places (towns and villages) in the USA.
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#16
james888
I have an odd desire to play with one of these although I don't know what I would do with it.
Posted on Reply
#17
Ikaruga
by: james888
I have an odd desire to play with one of these although I don't know what I would do with it.
Well, they still can't make you a sandwich;)
Posted on Reply
#18
alucasa
by: james888
I have an odd desire to play with one of these although I don't know what I would do with it.
Get a business internet and host few sites on it.
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