Processors

Intel has been slowly releasing information about its Devil’s Canyon processors for a few months now. If you’ve been on top of the processor scene, you probably know that Devil’s Canyon is the codename for a new revision of Intel’s 4th Gen Core processors, based on the Haswell microarchitecture, that features a high performance polymer thermal interface material (TIM) and updated packaging materials, in addition to an array of additional capacitors to smooth power delivery to the core. Devil’s Canyon’s updates are designed to resolve some thermal and overclocking... Read more...
AMD has had a tough time competing with Intel on the desktop lately, but when it comes to mobile technology, in the notebook arena, performance, value and power efficiency are measured against a very different yardstick.  That's not to say that CPU throughput and IPC isn't important in a notebook, not by a long shot, but multimedia performance in these highly integrated designs can matter much more than desktop designs where discrete graphics engines are easily accommodated. Back in January of this year, we covered AMD's launch of their Kaveri core-based A8-7600 APU.  Targeted for... Read more...
It has been nearly a year since we visited ARM in Cambridge, UK, and the company recently held another tech day -- this time in Austin, Texas. During the three-day session, ARM covered a wide range of topics, with a primary focus on server ecosystems and next-generation mobile hardware. The company started off with an in-depth exploration of its CCN-508 server interconnect.  AMD and Intel don't really have an analogous chip to this -- think of the CCN-508 as the hub that all other CPUs, GPUs, network interfaces, CPU cache, and other components connect to. Click to Enlarge ARM has revealed... Read more...
A couple of weeks back, we got the chance to get some hands on time with AMD’s upcoming mainstream and low-power APUs (Accelerated Processing Units), codenamed Beema and Mullins. These APUs are the successors to last year’s Temash and Kabini APUs, which powered an array of small form factor and mobile platforms. With this release, however, AMD was laser focused on improving power consumption and efficiency, expanding the platform’s capabilities through both hardware and software tweaks, and of course improving performance over the previous generation. Beema and Mullins are based... Read more...
Last week, we took a trip to San Diego to meet with Qualcomm and discuss the company's cutting edge 20nm radios and upcoming Snapdragon processors. Unlike the already-launched Snapdragon 801 and 805, these are fundamentally new chips with updated CPU cores as well as Qualcomm's new Adreno 400-class GPU. Qualcomm is announcing two new chips today -- the Snapdragon 808 and the Snapdragon 810. The 810 will be the highest-end solution, with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A57 paired alongside four Cortex-53 CPUs. We've discussed ARM's big.Little implementations before -- unlike the designs we saw debut in 2012,... Read more...
NVIDIA's 2014 GTC (GPU Technology Conference) kicked off with a bang this morning in San Jose California, with NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang offering up a healthy dose of new information on next generation NVIDIA GPU technologies for the professional workstation, big data analytics, cloud computing, gaming and mobile markets.   As members of the press took their seats front and center, we were treated to a spectacle of sight and sound, NVIDIA-style and Jen-Hsun wasted no time diving in on the latest NVIDIA cutting-edge GPU technology advancements.  First, we've pulled together sort of a highlight... Read more...
Intel is announcing its new tablet and smartphone designs this week at Mobile World Congress, alongside a major push to drive adoption of its 28nm XMM 7160 and XMM 7260 modem technology. It's been two years since Intel launched its first serious Atom-based smartphone platform, codenamed Medfield, and it's safe to say that those two years haven't gone precisely as Intel intended. Originally, the company planned to have a solid market share built up by now. Instead, it's planning a major tablet initiative with multiple partners with a few possible smartphone SoC wins on the side. The chips that will... Read more...
For months, there have been rumors circulating of a new Intel 15-core CPU, with a particular focus on Big Data analytics, multi-socket systems, and the enterprise market. Well, this past January, we took a trip to Intel's SAP research lab to see the new processors and the rather substantial update coming down the pipe. Unlike Intel's mainstream and basic server products, the truly Big Iron hardware updates on a significantly slower cadence. Haswell chips launched eight months ago for desktop and the Xeon E5 v2 family, based on Ivy Bridge, has been available for months -- but the Xeon E7 processors... Read more...
Way back in 2006, after the ATI acquisition, AMD laid out its Fusion initiative and future plans to integrate a CPU and GPU onto the same processor die. The ultimate goal of Fusion was to seamlessly combine CPU and GPU resources into a single, cohesive compute engine equally adept at handling serial and highly parallel workloads. At the time, the idea seemed ambitious, but history has shown that more and more external resources have consistently been brought onto the CPU die (memory controllers, IO hub, etc.) and graphics would be no different. Since then, both Intel and AMD have quite... Read more...
Today is a big day for AMD. If you follow the company at all, you're probably aware that there's a new APU from AMD waiting in the wings. Today, AMD is disclosing more information about Kaveri, the first APU to support heterogeneous computing. Kaveri also includes a new CPU core, codenamed Steamroller, and the largest GPU we've seen in an integrated processor to date. This chip is particularly important for AMD because its the first major architecture update for AMD's big core program since Bulldozer launched in 2011. This new APU includes the TrueAudio technology that AMD launched earlier... Read more...
NVIDIA's Jen-Hsun Huang took the stage at CES 2014 to discuss NVIDIA's overarching gaming technology efforts, starting with a discussion of PC gaming streaming courtesy of NVIDIA's Shield. We've discussed Shield's game streaming capability before -- it's easily one of the stronger selling points for the product. According to the NVIDIA CEO, the game streaming that the company showed at CES was actually being rendered from an NVIDIA GRID server that was currently located in France. The idea here? NVIDIA can render from thousands of miles away, push those frames to your PC or mobile device, and do... Read more...
It has been a while since I have personally setup a test bench, rolled up my sleeves and built a test system with top-shelf components, a fresh OS install and some overclocking mojo. However, Intel's recent release of Ivy Bridge-E gave us a hankering to do just that. We've been testing a lot of tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks, but there's a certain satisfaction that comes with building a high performance system from the ground up, that you just don't get from pre-built devices. So I decided to see if I still had the chops. EVGA recently took the wraps off a new high-end X79 motherboard... Read more...
Today, for the first time since Atom first debuted, Intel is launching an updated version of the core that does more than integrate additional function blocks and lower power consumption. The tablet iteration of the new SoC is called Bay Trail, and it's aimed at the red-hot tablet and handheld market currently occupied by various chips from Apple, Qualcomm, Samsung, and NVIDIA. Our first thought?  Finally. This is what Intel's Atom architecture always aspired to. Intel Atom Z3000 Bay Trail Die - 22nm Low Power 3D Tri-Gate Technology Intel has done some impressive things with Atom, including... Read more...
This most recent metamorphosis of the PC hasn’t been kind to the high-end desktop processor segment. While the industry as a whole continues to focus on the steadily growing ultra-mobile market, and releases new products in rapid succession, there have only been two major flagship desktop processors released since the Intel Core i7-3960X hit the scene in late 2011—the slightly faster Intel Core i7-3970X and AMD’s limited edition FX-9590. And even then, AMD’s chip is most likely going to compete with Intel’s more mainstream quad-core parts. We’ll know exactly... Read more...
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