Tuesday, December 11th 2012

Intel Delivers the World's First 6-Watt Server-Class Processor

Intel Corporation introduced the Intel Atom processor S1200 product family today, delivering the world's first low-power, 64-bit server-class system-on-chip (SoC) for high-density microservers, as well as a new class of energy-efficient storage and networking systems. The energy-sipping, industrial-strength microprocessor features essential capabilities to achieve server-class reliability, manageability and cost effectiveness.

"The data center continues to evolve into unique segments and Intel continues to be a leader in these transitions," said Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at Intel. "We recognized several years ago the need for a new breed of high-density, energy-efficient servers and other datacenter equipment. Today, we are delivering the industry's only 6-watt SoC that has key datacenter features, continuing our commitment to help lead these segments."


Intel's Next Generation of Microservers: The Real Thing
As public clouds continue to grow, the opportunity to transform companies providing dedicated hosting, content delivery or front-end Web servers are also growing. High density servers based on low-power processors are able to deliver the desired performance while at the same time significantly reduce the energy consumption – one of the biggest cost drivers in the data center. However, before deploying new equipment in data centers, companies look for several critical features.

The Intel Atom processor S1200 product family is the first low-power SoC delivering required data center features that ensure server-class levels of reliability and manageability while also enabling significant savings in overall costs. The SoC includes two physical cores and a total of four threads enabled with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT). The SoC also includes 64-bit support, a memory controller supporting up to 8 GB of DDR3 memory, Intel Virtualization Technologies (Intel VT), eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0, Error-Correcting Code (ECC) support for higher reliability, and other I/O interfaces integrated from Intel chipsets. The new product family will consist of three processors with frequency ranging from 1.6 GHz to 2.0 GHz.

The Intel Atom S1200 product family is also compatible with the x86 software that is commonly used in data centers today. This enables easy integration of the new low-powered equipment and avoids additional investments in porting and maintaining new software stacks.

New Milestones in Power Efficiency
Intel continues to drive power consumption down in its products, enabling systems to be as energy efficient as possible. Each year since the 2006 introduction of low-power Intel Xeon processors, Intel has delivered a new generation of low-power processors that have decreased the thermal design power (TDP) from 40 watts in 2006 to 17 watts this year due to Intel's advanced 22-nanometer (nm) process technology. The Intel Atom processor S1200 product family is the first low-power SoC with server-class features offering as low as 6 watts of TDP.

Broad Industry Support
Today, more than 20 low-power designs including microservers, storage and networking systems use the Intel Atom processor S1200 processor family from companies including Accusys, CETC, Dell, HP, Huawei, Inspur, Microsan, Qsan, Quanta, Supermicro and Wiwynn.

"Organizations supporting hyperscale workloads need powerful servers to maximize efficiency and realize radical space, cost and energy savings," said Paul Santeler, vice president and general manager, Hyperscale Business Unit, Industry-standard Servers and Software at HP. "HP servers power many of those organizations, and the Intel Atom processor S1200 will be instrumental as we develop the next wave of application-defined computing to dramatically reduce cost and energy use for our customers."

An Even Brighter Future
Intel is working on the next generation of Intel Atom processors for extreme energy efficiency codenamed "Avoton." Available in 2013, Avoton will further extend Intel's SoC capabilities and use the company's leading 3-D Tri-gate 22 nm transistors, delivering world-class power consumption and performance levels.

For customers interested in low-voltage Intel Xeon processor models for low-power servers, storage and networking, Intel will introduce the new Intel Xeon processor E3 v3 product family based on the "Haswell" microarchitecture next year. These new processors will take advantage of new energy-saving features in Haswell and provide balanced performance-per-watt, giving customers even more options.

Pricing and Availability
The Intel Atom processor S1200 is shipping today to customers with recommended customer price starting at $54 in quantities of 1,000 units.
Add your own comment

22 Comments on Intel Delivers the World's First 6-Watt Server-Class Processor

#3
m1dg3t
Well now, thats pretty awesome! 6w :eek:
Posted on Reply
#4
fusionblu
Very impressive and here I thought ARM or some other manufacturer would get there first.
Posted on Reply
#5
iO
So basically the same CPUs that have been around in chinese tablet for quite a while, just not crippled and more expensive...
Posted on Reply
#6
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
I want one.
Posted on Reply
#7
dwade
Intel's progress is second to none.
Won't be long until we get under 20w Quad cores. Hello to real high-performance tablets. :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#8
DarkOCean
by: dwade
Intel's progress is second to none.
Won't be long until we get under 20w Quad cores. Hello to real high-performance tablets. :rockout:
ha.. true, lack of competition is to blame.
Posted on Reply
#9
radrok
by: DarkOCean
ha.. true, lack of competition is to blame.
Well you can't blame them for going forward, I mean on desktop they are competing against themselves and that's a bit sad.

Now that the focus is shifting towards mobile computing they'll have to fight against ARM and they seem in a pretty damn good shape, many say that Intel should fear ARM but I feel that the contest should be seen backwards, ARM should fear Intel IMO.
Posted on Reply
#10
lemonadesoda
While the TDP of the CPU is excellent, I wonder what the TDP of the SERVER chipset is going to be. Notice this is quite different from other Atom chipsets and incls. support for ECC and 8GB DDR3. Remember the first Atom chipset? Let's hope this new Atom server chipset is equally efficient as its paired CPU.
Posted on Reply
#11
Jstn7477
by: lemonadesoda
While the TDP of the CPU is excellent, I wonder what the TDP of the SERVER chipset is going to be. Notice this is quite different from other Atom chipsets and incls. support for ECC and 8GB DDR3. Remember the first Atom chipset? Let's hope this new Atom server chipset is equally efficient as its paired CPU.
Isn't this an SoC?
Posted on Reply
#12
lemonadesoda
Thanks. It's way past my bedtime and I'm scanning the news and missing essentials! 6-8W all in is great! Let's hope OEMS will build 1x CPU mATX boards... the press release talks about datacentre multi-nodes built into a single rack unit. Great. But we want mono-node too!
Posted on Reply
#13
Jizzler
mATX, seems kinda big. Though I suppose some specialty solutions could be in this size.

I want a Raspberry Pi-like device with one :)
Posted on Reply
#14
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
by: Jizzler
mATX, seems kinda big. Though I suppose some specialty solutions could be in this size.

I want a Raspberry Pi-like device with one :)
That would be a feat, and a treat. I'd be happy with a nano ITX or even mini ITX for starters. :)
Posted on Reply
#15
lemonadesoda
by: Jizzler
mATX, seems kinda big
This is what happens when you post after bed-time :roll:

Of course, yes, I meant mini-ITX. How silly of me. And I want them in my supermicro 1UE boxes :pimp:
Posted on Reply
#16
evulmunk33
BitFenix Rep
6W is not bad... but arm is around 1W per core or less, isnt it?
the upcoming arm server chips have a TDP of less than 2W per core and are running at 3GHz, twice the clock of current chips...

this is a nice alternative for people who dont want to give up x86 i guess...
i think the main point is to steel thunder and to cage in ARM and limit how much they will be able to charge for their server cpus

not bad intel! bring on the fight! :D
i dont think they will win, but hey, the harder they fight the cheaper tech gets for us :D
Posted on Reply
#17
Prima.Vera
How many cores does it have? The ARM v8 is still using only 2W/core ...
Posted on Reply
#18
evulmunk33
BitFenix Rep
by: Prima.Vera
How many cores does it have? The ARM v8 is still using only 2W/core ...
2W? are you sure? that sounds like too much...
my galaxy note has a battery of 2500mAh at 3.7V thats 9.25WH, if my entire phone uses 2W, then it would mean i get around 5h of full load use... which is about right...

but thats 2W for the entire phone!
and the biggest power slurper in phones is the display, and i got a 5" OLED display which uses a bit more than IPS on most phones...

im pretty sure each CPU core in my galaxy note uses less than .5W under full load...
remember its around 2W full load and thats 2 cpu cores, gpu, memory, flash, display, plus wireless antennae
6W is too much even for a tablet... even 3W is arguably too much for a tablet already... think of the huge display and the huge heavy battery youll need to reach the 10h mark everybody aims for...
Posted on Reply
#19
Aquinus
Resident Wat-man
by: evulmunk33
2W? are you sure? that sounds like too much...
my galaxy note has a battery of 2500mAh at 3.7V thats 9.25WH, if my entire phone uses 2W, then it would mean i get around 5h of full load use... which is about right...

but thats 2W for the entire phone!
and the biggest power slurper in phones is the display, and i got a 5" OLED display which uses a bit more than IPS on most phones...

im pretty sure each CPU core in my galaxy note uses less than .5W under full load...
remember its around 2W full load and thats 2 cpu cores, gpu, memory, flash, display, plus wireless antennae
6W is too much even for a tablet... even 3W is arguably too much for a tablet already... think of the huge display and the huge heavy battery youll need to reach the 10h mark everybody aims for...
I'm pretty sure that your phone isn't running 100% usage all the time like a server might. Keep in mind that TDP is loaded usage. Yeah, your phone might run cool and such but if you run it at 100% that changes. Your battery life goes to crap and your phone (and battery,) start running warm.

All in all, it is a step in the right direction. I would like to see how PostgreSQL load balancing and multi-master replication would work on a set of servers like these.
Posted on Reply
#20
evulmunk33
BitFenix Rep
by: Aquinus
I'm pretty sure that your phone isn't running 100% usage all the time like a server might. Keep in mind that TDP is loaded usage. Yeah, your phone might run cool and such but if you run it at 100% that changes. Your battery life goes to crap and your phone (and battery,) start running warm.

All in all, it is a step in the right direction. I would like to see how PostgreSQL load balancing and multi-master replication would work on a set of servers like these.
when you play proper 3D games your phones cpu is maxed out, both cores at 100%...
go check for yourself, theres an app for that :D
i recommend system panel EX or cool tool using the cpu gauge taskbar overlay (awesome app, love it)
cool tool is free, system panel EX is free but if you want it running in the background to track usage while other apps are full screen you need the PRO version which costs... 1E i think?

and why wouldnt it be fully loaded?
it tries to churn out as many FPS as possible, its not like they can reach the vsync limit of 60FPS on proper 3D titles... and actually i think even if you hit 60fps it actually renders more than that but you dont see the extra frames... there are 2D games that push both cores on my phone to 100% usage... definitely shoddy coding, but just saying, even that is possible...
Posted on Reply
#21
Prima.Vera
by: evulmunk33
2W? are you sure? that sounds like too much...
my galaxy note has a battery of 2500mAh at 3.7V thats 9.25WH, if my entire phone uses 2W, then it would mean i get around 5h of full load use... which is about right...

but thats 2W for the entire phone!
and the biggest power slurper in phones is the display, and i got a 5" OLED display which uses a bit more than IPS on most phones...

im pretty sure each CPU core in my galaxy note uses less than .5W under full load...
remember its around 2W full load and thats 2 cpu cores, gpu, memory, flash, display, plus wireless antennae
6W is too much even for a tablet... even 3W is arguably too much for a tablet already... think of the huge display and the huge heavy battery youll need to reach the 10h mark everybody aims for...
Except your tablet DOESN'T have a v8 ARM CPU, is still la v7 Dual-Core only. Totally different specs here
Posted on Reply
#22
evulmunk33
BitFenix Rep
by: Prima.Vera
Except your tablet DOESN'T have a v8 ARM CPU, is still la v7 Dual-Core only. Totally different specs here
why does it matter? the topic is power consumption...

and it sounds like your confusing the instruction set and cpu arch...
even tegra4, apples A6x, the Snapdragon 800 and samsungs octa core use the ARM v7 instruction set

v7 = ARM instruction set (like x86)
Cortex A7 = newest ARM core (low power)
Cortex A8 = older ARM core
Cortex A9 = newer ARM core
Cortex A15 = newest ARM core (high performance)

my "tablet" uses A9 cores btw, and A15 are higher power, but not much...
Nvidia just mentioned at CES that the Tegra4 SOC (quadcore A15 ~2GHZ) consumes around 2-3W under full load (playing games)
A15 is supposed to scale beyond 3GHz, and thats probably where power consumption is notably higher than A9 based SOCs
but for mobile devices, vendors are realistically limited to 2-3W for a phone and tablet, otherwise battery life will suck, or the tablet/phone gets heavy and/or expensive

so again, 6W from intel isnt impressive, and not viable in a tablet, much less a phone
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment