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Intel drops three Atom bombs at IDF in Beijing

Chips for storage and network support
Wed Apr 10 2013, 10:22
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BEIJING: ON THE FIRST DAY of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), Intel announced three new Atom system on chip (SoC) processors.

Last December, Intel introduced the Atom S1200, its first Atom based processor for microservers, and now the company is lining up more SoCs for the microserver market.

First up are the Atom S12x9 series processors, which are designed for storage. These processors offer 40 lanes of PCIe 2.0 bandwidth. There are 24 Root Port lanes and 16 Non Transparent Bridge lanes for failover support.

In addition Intel provides hardware RAID storage acceleration to offload the computationally intensive RAID function into hardware, thus freeing up the SoC to execute other software applications.

There is also a special DRAM interface Asynchronous DRAM Self-Refresh (ADR), which can protect critical DRAM data in the event of a power interruption.

According to Intel the Atom S12x9 series also supports Native Dual-Casting that allows data to be read from a source and delivered to two memory locations simultaneously, which can increase RAID-5/6 bandwidth by as much as 20 percent on a 16+2 RAID 6 system compared to system bandwidth without the Dual Cast feature.

Avoton is the codename for a 22nm Atom processor based on Intel's new Silvermont microarchitecture. Avoton includes a built-in Ethernet interface, but Intel did not say much more about it except that it is expected to deliver a significant performance per Watt improvement. A die shrink from 32nm to 22nm combined with the new microarchitecture should yield at least a two-fold power improvement, Intel indicated.

Intel's final Atom announcement was Rangeley, which is also a 22nm processor, but specifically targeted at embedded communications products such as entry level to mid-range routers, switches and security appliances. µ


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