Thursday, August 6th 2020

Intel Readies Atom "Grand Ridge" 24-core Processor, Features PCIe 4.0 and DDR5

Intel is monetizing its "small" x86 cores across its product lineup, and not just in entry-level client processors. These cores will be part of Intel's current- and upcoming Hybrid processors, and have been serving Intel's re-branded Atom line of high core-count low-power server processors targeting micro-servers, NAS, network infrastructure hardware, and cellular base-stations. A company slide scored by AdoredTV unveils Intel's Atom "Grand Ridge" 24-core processor. A successor to the 24-core Atom P5962B "Snow Ridge" processor built on 10 nm and featuring "Tremont" CPU cores, "Grand Ridge" sees the introduction of the increased IPC "Gracemont" CPU cores to this segment. These cores make their debut in 2021 under the "Alder Lake" microarchitecture as "small" cores.

The "Grand Ridge" silicon is slated to be built on Intel's 7 nm HLL+ silicon fabrication node, and features 24 "Gracemont" cores across six clusters with four cores, each. Each cluster shares a 4 MB L2 cache among the four cores, while a shared L3 cache of unknown size cushions transfers between the six clusters. Intel is deploying its SCF (scalable coherent fabric) interconnect between the various components of the "Grand Ridge" SoC. Besides the six "Gracemont" clusters, the "Grand Ridge" silicon features a 2-channel DDR5 integrated memory controller, and a PCI-Express gen 4.0 root complex that puts out 16 lanes. It also features fixed function hardware that accelerates network stack processing. There are various USB and GPIO connectivity options relevant to 5G base-station setups. Given Intel's announcement of a delay in rolling out its 7 nm node, "Grand Ridge" can only be expected in 2022, if not later.
Intel Grand Ridge
Sources: AdoredTV (YouTube), VideoCardz
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28 Comments on Intel Readies Atom "Grand Ridge" 24-core Processor, Features PCIe 4.0 and DDR5

#1
Renald
Last time I checked Atom CPU were the size of a pinky fingernail ...
Now it's a 24C beast.

Intel + Logic = Potato
Posted on Reply
#2
ebivan
When do you guys expect new desktop Atoms? The last desktop Atoms are lag ke 4 years old...
Posted on Reply
#3
Fabio Bologna
ebivan
When do you guys expect new desktop Atoms? The last desktop Atoms are lag ke 4 years old...
Honestly I only have bed experience with Atoms...
I had an atom powered windows tablet (imagine what power) and after 2 months I was doing something in the bios, battery died... bricked...

Now at work we are starting IoT development so for the machines we are automating the company that designs them also provides a small pc that collects data from the automation for research and proactive maintenance...
The pc is new and is worth about 1k$ and is powered by a f...ing N3827 2c/2t 1.7ghz atom that juat running windows 10 task manager is a stretch... on intel ark the thing costs 34$ and now it's inside an aluminium chassis with a wifi cards and it costs 1000... O.o
Posted on Reply
#4
ebivan
Yeah I know. Atoms were never suitable for desktop use. But for minimal headless server uses like small file servers or routing applications they are so much better than shitty Raspberries.

I want one to build an OPNsense Gateway / Router with 10 GbE capabilities. With Tremonts enhanced AES-NI features and low idle usage that seems ideal for that.
Posted on Reply
#5
RandallFlagg
Fabio Bologna
Honestly I only have bed experience with Atoms...
I had an atom powered windows tablet (imagine what power) and after 2 months I was doing something in the bios, battery died... bricked...

Now at work we are starting IoT development so for the machines we are automating the company that designs them also provides a small pc that collects data from the automation for research and proactive maintenance...
The pc is new and is worth about 1k$ and is powered by a f...ing N3827 2c/2t 1.7ghz atom that juat running windows 10 task manager is a stretch... on intel ark the thing costs 34$ and now it's inside an aluminium chassis with a wifi cards and it costs 1000... o_O
Well, I work in this field. Atoms are used all the time in programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and embedded systems. But industrial grade systems like that typically have a custom OS (look up Allen Bradley / aka Rockwell PLCs). It's very typical for these types of systems to have a scan time (runs through a loop getting all inputs, doing logic, setting all outputs) of 5-20ms aka 50 - 200 times per second. Atoms are actually very good in this environment.

For Win 10 IoT, you have to have a much more powerful system to do real-time control like that. Sounds like you are also talking about a data collection device, not really an controller. I have worked on some PC based controllers running Beckhoff Twincat but they have to run a more normal CPU.

i.e.

www.beckhoff.com/english.asp?industrial_pc/default.htm
Posted on Reply
#6
Tartaros
For Mint or Xubuntu goes quite well, I used an atom netbook for studying back in the day when tablets weren't a thing and was enough, I packed it with some dos games to pass time in breaks. A pity netbook connectivity was so shitty I couldn't repurpose it into a file server or something.
Posted on Reply
#7
dragontamer5788
Renald
Last time I checked Atom CPU were the size of a pinky fingernail ...
Now it's a 24C beast.

Intel + Logic = Potato
This "Scalable" design seems to be very similar to Xeon Phi. Which I actually liked in theory.

But Xeon Phi had super-high speed HMC (Hybrid Memory Cube) memory. Granted, this was a failure, but its speeds were comparable to HBM. This chip only has 2xDDR5 channels. So it seems kind of odd. Maybe cell-towers don't need much CPU power or something?
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#8
HugsNotDrugs
"SCF (scalable coherent fabric) interconnect between the various components of the "Grand Ridge" SoC "

^ is this the glue?
Posted on Reply
#9
lexluthermiester
ebivan
When do you guys expect new desktop Atoms? The last desktop Atoms are lag ke 4 years old...
Desktop? I don't think Intel has a plan for anything like an Atom for mainstream computers. The Celeron and Pentium line fills in the budget and economy sectors for Intel. This 24core beast however is somewhat of a mystery as to what would be done with it.
Fabio Bologna
Honestly I only have bed experience with Atoms...
I've only had positive experiences. But then again, I only expected them to do what they were intended to do.
Fabio Bologna
I had an atom powered windows tablet (imagine what power) and after 2 months I was doing something in the bios, battery died... bricked...
That kinda sucks. That's a manufacturing problem however, not the fault of the Atom SOC itself nor Intel.
Posted on Reply
#10
Toothless
Tech, Games, and TPU!
giveittome.gif

I'll take a donation of three for WCG and feet warming purposes.
Posted on Reply
#11
ebivan
With Desktop i meant succeors of the Goldmond Plus Atoms (which are called Pentium Silver "Gemini Lake") like J5005 and J4105
So is there anything like those with 10nm Tremont cores in the pipeline?
Posted on Reply
#12
Overclocker_2001
atom??
never again after my home server powered by a J1900 died due to bad design of LPC bus and so degradation faster as more I/O you do...
it lasted about 5 years... and NO, it's not ok.
i've got plenty 775 era mobo running perfectly. sp why i have to reinstall (and reconfigure all client!) everything every 5 years?

only my opinion.. but 5 years is not an era, 15 maybe
Posted on Reply
#13
ebivan
Haha, I first moved my home setup from 4 Raspberries to one Atom, which did not suffice after a year or two. Now I have a Ryzen 1700x running ESXi and everything packed into neat little VMs so whatever happens I can move everything to any other hardware within two hours on a rainy sunday afternoon.

But for a Gateway Router I prefer bare metal and want a standalone appliance, so that what I need an Atom for. Ryzen idle power draw is just to high to run two of those...
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#14
Owen1982
I have a couple of J1900 systems - they still chug along just fine. I gave one to my friend and that is now a little freenas box that runs 24/7. You just have to set your expectations...low.

What do we think the TDP of this will be... 35w? Could be nice for a little home lab.
Posted on Reply
#15
Fabio Bologna
RandallFlagg
Well, I work in this field. Atoms are used all the time in programmable logic controllers (PLCs) and embedded systems. But industrial grade systems like that typically have a custom OS (look up Allen Bradley / aka Rockwell PLCs). It's very typical for these types of systems to have a scan time (runs through a loop getting all inputs, doing logic, setting all outputs) of 5-20ms aka 50 - 200 times per second. Atoms are actually very good in this environment.

For Win 10 IoT, you have to have a much more powerful system to do real-time control like that. Sounds like you are also talking about a data collection device, not really an controller. I have worked on some PC based controllers running Beckhoff Twincat but they have to run a more normal CPU.

i.e.

www.beckhoff.com/english.asp?industrial_pc/default.htm
I worked once with Twincat and really like it (the integration of IDE in Visual Studio is great for instance...) but here in Europe it's not that well known unfortunatelly...

I mostly use Siemens Step7 and TIA Portal and I think there was once the idea from siemens to move to an ARM architecture with their controllers...
I honestly believe that for low power system that need to be snappy x86 is the wrong choice...
ARM is much better suited to those kinds of environments and are way easier to cool for instance... so even harsh conditions would be totally fine...
Posted on Reply
#16
ebivan
Fabio Bologna
ARM is much better suited to those kinds of environments and are way easier to cool for instance... so even harsh conditions would be totally fine...
Well, are there any ARM Boards that are much beefier than RasPis, specially when it comes to i/o performance, that are truely open source supported, that are in the same price range as quadcore Atoms (~100 bucks + memory + PSU) and that either have at least two fast (faster than 1 GbE) NICs onboard or have a PCIe slot?
If you know any, please let me know!

So in that segment, Atom is quite the only choice. I hope that there will be boards with Ryzen 4000u, but with the current shortage of those chips I guess they are reserved for high volume OEMs at the moment.
Posted on Reply
#17
lexluthermiester
ebivan
Well, are there any ARM Boards that are much beefier than RasPis
A LOT! But this is off-topic...
Posted on Reply
#18
ebivan
lexluthermiester
A LOT! But this is off-topic...
OK, I really wanna know, so PM me!
Posted on Reply
#19
Assimilator
Fabio Bologna
Now at work we are starting IoT development so for the machines we are automating the company that designs them also provides a small pc that collects data from the automation for research and proactive maintenance...
The pc is new and is worth about 1k$ and is powered by a f...ing N3827 2c/2t 1.7ghz atom that juat running windows 10 task manager is a stretch... on intel ark the thing costs 34$ and now it's inside an aluminium chassis with a wifi cards and it costs 1000... o_O
Not Intel's fault that companies that build "embedded" PCs charge an arm and a leg.
Posted on Reply
#20
Yukikaze
Renald
Last time I checked Atom CPU were the size of a pinky fingernail ...
Now it's a 24C beast.

Intel + Logic = Potato
The only potatoes here are people that don't understand what these are good for, and used for.

This is a follow-up to "Snow Ridge" based on the news above. If you google "Snow Ridge" you will quickly find this page. If you click on any product on that page (like, say, the "P5962B" mentioned in the news above) you will see that a 24 core atom-based SoC already exists. Moreover, if you check the "Use Conditions" line, you will see that this is a "Base Transceiver Station" - In other words, Snow Ridge is used to put together cellphone towers/antennae. In this use case, you have a lot of parallel workloads, which are not very intensive by themselves, making a low-power, highly threaded CPU a very good match.

The same would apply to, say, a storage server, where the CPU doesn't do a lot, but may need to do "not a lot" many times in parallel. Oh, and look, storage is mentioned in the news article as well. Surprise, surprise, it is as if computers are used for more than personal computing.
Posted on Reply
#21
Renald
Yukikaze
The only potatoes here are people that don't understand what these are good for, and used for.

This is a follow-up to "Snow Ridge" based on the news above. If you google "Snow Ridge" you will quickly find this page. If you click on any product on that page (like, say, the "P5962B" mentioned in the news above) you will see that a 24 core atom-based SoC already exists. Moreover, if you check the "Use Conditions" line, you will see that this is a "Base Transceiver Station" - In other words, Snow Ridge is used to put together cellphone towers/antennae. In this use case, you have a lot of parallel workloads, which are not very intensive by themselves, making a low-power, highly threaded CPU a very good match.

The same would apply to, say, a storage server, where the CPU doesn't do a lot, but may need to do "not a lot" many times in parallel. Oh, and look, storage is mentioned in the news article as well. Surprise, surprise, it is as if computers are used for more than personal computing.
Ah ! A lecture guy ! Don't you want to had some insults on your posts ? Because it's very close. I work every day with 64C/128T + 750GB of RAM machines. And also cloud ones, dockerized ones or 1 shared CPU ones. Want to question me about about storage ? I used the "Storage" class of GCP as soon as it was available. Hell of a cost reduction for long-term storage (still a bit more expensive than Amazon and Azure)
I just said that Intel is stupid for using the Atom brand for highly parallel operations. Do you have anything to say about that ? Because spitting all your sources won't help the fact that it's badly marketed.
Posted on Reply
#22
Yukikaze
Renald
I just said that Intel is stupid for using the Atom brand for highly parallel operations.
I'll bite. Why?
Posted on Reply
#23
Renald
Yukikaze
I'll bite. Why?
And I'll respond !

Taking "old" speculations into account, you can read this : www.techpowerup.com/187391/intel-to-kill-atom-brand
You will remember it, because, it was true : Atom, for nearly everybody is associated with very low-end CPU. And people agreed, that if were planning on upgrading it, they should rename it.
Like i7 are associated with high-end public CPU.
Like ARM is associated with highly parallelized tasks (but slower).
Like Power 8 processors are associated with highly scalable systems.

Intel chose not to take the name down and kept it in their roadmap.


If I tell you : "you have an i7 last gen" you know what to expect.
If I tell you : "you have an Atom last gen" you have no clue what to expect.
That's the problem. Call it AtomPhi or AtomFoo, I really don't care, but just call it something else so we know a bit without looking into specs and follow the roadmap of each one.
Posted on Reply
#24
RandallFlagg
In order execution is best for situations where the task being executed needs to be finished without interruption, typically meaning an RTOS which has its own scheduler that controls which tasks have priority and are going to be executed. So whatever is put in the pipeline finishes in this model - before something else jumps in front of it and thus pre-empts the scheduler and makes the system less predictable. The correct phrase is "Highly Deterministic" meaning - very predictable and repeatable low-latency performance.

Modern general purpose CPUs like Intel / AMD make are out of order systems, meaning what is being processed can be unloaded and a different 'thread' loaded in order to keep the pipelines full. In the aggregate it is faster, but it also makes it somewhat unpredictible what is going to happen to any specific operation. i.e., it's less deterministic. If this system were say, controlling the drive by wire system in your car, you might want it to be deterministic. Same if it's running a production line in a billion dollar facility.

Now, that is probably outside the normal use case for a 24 core version of this chip though. I'm just saying that predictable in order execution systems have a place, and that's what the Atom is.
Posted on Reply
#25
lexluthermiester
Renald
You will remember it, because, it was true : Atom, for nearly everybody is associated with very low-end CPU. And people agreed, that if were planning on upgrading it, they should rename it.
Like i7 are associated with high-end public CPU.
Like ARM is associated with highly parallelized tasks (but slower).
Like Power 8 processors are associated with highly scalable systems.

Intel chose not to take the name down and kept it in their roadmap.


If I tell you : "you have an i7 last gen" you know what to expect.
If I tell you : "you have an Atom last gen" you have no clue what to expect.
That's the problem. Call it AtomPhi or AtomFoo, I really don't care, but just call it something else so we know a bit without looking into specs and follow the roadmap of each one.
You are making assumptions about the way everyone thinks. Not everyone thinks like you do, nor arrives at the same conclusions.
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