Processors

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...
In Part I of this series, we discussed ARM's business model and how it works with its various partners as compared to Intel. Today, we're diving into a specific technology that ARM believes will allow it to differentiate its products and offer superior performance to Santa Clara and the upcoming 22nm Bay Trail. big.LITTLE is ARM's solution to a particularly nasty problem: New process nodes no longer deliver the kind of overall power consumption improvements that they did prior to 2005. Prior to 90nm, semiconductor firms could count on new chips being smaller, faster, and drawing less power at a... Read more...
Last week, we paid a visit to ARM's headquarters in Cambridge, England and sat down with the company for multiple deep dives into its structure, processor architecture, and the future of its product design. The semiconductor market for mobile and hand-held devices has changed dramatically in the past six years and ARM has had to evolve along side it. This is the first in a series of articles designed to profile different aspects of the company and its competition with Intel.   ARM's Licensing and Design Model Most readers are aware that ARM has a very different business model than Intel. Specifically,... Read more...
A few months back, AMD unveiled a handful of mobile Elite A-Series APUs, formerly codenamed Richland. Those products built upon the company’s existing Trinity-based products but offered additional power and frequency optimizations designed to enhance overall performance and increase battery life. In addition to these optimizations, AMD also began offering a host of specialized software with their Richland APUs that’s leveraged their inherent strengths--namely, AMD Face Login, Gesture Control, Screen Mirror, and various video enhancement features like AMD Steady Video, Quick Stream,... Read more...
If Haswell's debut on the desktop has left you feeling a bit flat, the company's mobile efforts may be the pick-me-up you've been hoping for. If you step back and think about the entire CPU market, the last two years have been marked by tremendous shifts in consumer buying habits, as tablet sales skyrocketed and desktop/laptop sales have slumped. Intel recognized years ago that Atom, no matter how polished, would never be able to address the entire portable market -- the usage scenarios between a laptop and a smartphone are just too wide. The company therefore decided to take a two-pronged... Read more...
We've been talking about Intel's 4th Generation Core processor technology, codenamed Haswell, for over two years now.  If you've been hanging around these parts and are like most self-respecting geeks, you've likely been feeling the build-up of Haswell for quite some time.  Intel has disclosed lots of information on their latest processor technologies, from its 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistors, to its beefed-up integrated graphics core.  Sure, there's marketing hype and press releases but at some point you've got to have execution -- and today is all about execution for Intel. Intel... Read more...
AMD has been pretty open about discussing certain products in the roadmap. In fact, we’ve disclosed a number of details regarding the main products we’ll be talking about in this article--Kabini, Temash, and Richland--over the last few months. It was all the way back at CES that we first showed you Kabini, Temash, and Richland-based products in action in a number of prototype notebooks and tablets from Vizio, HP, Asus and others. And AMD actually talked about the foundation of two of these products (Kabini and Temash)—its Jaguar CPU core microarchitecture—at Hot Chips... Read more...
It’s no secret that Intel is readying processors based in its Haswell microarchitecture. The new chips are due to be released in the not too distant future and feature a number of noteworthy enhancements, including a much more powerful integrated graphics core. When Haswell arrives though, it will supplant current Ivy Bridge-based processors, which target more mainstream market segments than the product we’ll be showing you today. For the foreseeable future, Intel’s big dog remains Sandy Bridge-E, the monstrous six-core beast which utilizes the X79 Express chipset and socket... Read more...
This news has been a long time coming. It's been six years since Intel first began talking about Atom. When it was initially announced, the 45nm, in-order core, based on the Bonnell microarchitecture, was a new product from the ground up. It drew on Intel's expertise in other areas and shared some design elements with the original Pentium, but Atom was its own unique design. And for more than half a decade, Intel has kept that same design. Let's put that in perspective. In the desktop world, we were talking about Windows Vista, Core 2 Duo, and AMD's original Phenom. The Phenom II "Shanghai" refresh... Read more...
When we covered Intel’s first significant foray into the smartphone arena, early in January 2012, there was little doubt in our minds that the company had set its sights on the mobile market with a plan and roadmap for execution.  Though Medfield and Lexington, now known as the Atom Z2460 SoC, and its lower cost sibling Atom Z2420, looked solid enough on paper, we expected Intel would have an uphill battle versus already well-established players like Qualcomm, Samsung, NVIDIA and the like.  As it turned out, Medfield and Lexington Atom SoCs never really made it to... Read more...
It has been a rough few years for AMD. The company has found itself increasingly behind the eight ball and outmaneuvered, thanks to strong competition from Intel and less-than-stellar performance with recent releases of their A series integrated APUs. At a press event yesterday at CES 2013,  the Sunnyvale-based company focused on demonstrating new product wins and continued execution of its own APU roadmap. New devices shipping soon are courtesy of partnerships Asus, HP, and Vizio. Vizio's hardware was big news at the show, though AMD did talk up partnerships with other companies. The first... Read more...
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