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Intel launches sub-10W Atom S1200 server chips

Getting closer to ARM rivals
Tue Dec 11 2012, 17:00
An Intel logo on a piece of equipment

CHIPMAKER Intel has released its Atom S1200 series aimed at low power single socket servers.

Intel's race to meet ARM in the low power server market has seen the firm push its Atom branded chips into sub-10W territory while supporting 64-bit memory addressing and ECC memory. Now the firm has released three dual-core chips that make up its Atom S1200 series, all sporting sub-10W TDP.

With ARM vendors claiming that 64-bit ARMv8 chips will arrive in 2014, Intel is pushing a trio of Atom chips based on its mature 32nm process node and claiming 20 design wins including HP, Dell, Supermicro and Huawei. The firm took the wraps off the headline Atom S1260 processor that spins two cores at 2GHz and has a TDP of 8.5W, while the Atom S1240 and Atom S1220 are both clocked at 1.6GHz but have 6.1W and 8.1W TDPs, respectively.

According to Intel the difference in TDP of the Atom S1240 and Atom S1220 is represented in terms of unit cost, meaning the Atom S1220 will be the cheapest one in the three chip range. All of the firm's Atom S1200 series chips support Hyperthreading and two DIMMs per channel, though the chips only have single-channel memory controllers.

Intel's Atom S1200 chips support ECC DDR3 1,333MHz memory and have an eight-lane PCI Express 2 bus, however the chips won't be single-chip products as the Ethernet controller is off the primary silicon. The firm said that the next generation Avoton Atom chip, expected next year, will have the Ethernet controller on the same piece of silicon as the processor.

Intel talked up the web hosting capabilities of racks kitted with Atom S1200 servers. According to the firm customers can put five times as many cores in a rack when compared to its own Xeon E3 servers, which could be useful for those firms that need CPU core density above anything else.

Intel said pricing for Atom S1200 series chips starts at $54 in 1,000 unit quantities, which is much lower than prices for its Xeon E3 chips. The firm said all three Atom S1200 SKUs have started shipping. µ


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