Intel launches low-power, high-performance Silvermont architecture



Intel Corporation recently announced their brand new, low-power, high performance microarchitecture named Silvermont. This technology is aimed at low-power requirements in market segments ranging from smartphones to data centers. Silvermont will be the foundation for a range of products that are coming out on the market later this year, and will be manufactured using the company’s 22 nm Tri-Gate system on a chip (SoC) manufacturing process, which brings significant performance increases and improved energy efficiency.

“Silvermont is a leap forward and an entirely new technology foundation for the future that will address a broad range of products and market segments,” said Dadi Perlmutter, Intel executive vice president and chief product officer. “Early sampling of our 22nm SoCs, including ‘Bay Trail’ and ‘Avoton’, is already garnering positive feedback from our customers. Going forward, we will accelerate future generations of this low-power microarchitecture on a yearly cadence.”

The Silvermont microarchitecture delivers industry-leading performance-per-watt efficiency and brings increased support for a wider dynamic range. The microarchitecture also scales up (and down) seamlessly in performance and power efficiency, and on a variety of standard metrics, Silvermont performs three times better or consumes five times less power over the current-generation Intel Atom processor core.

Silvermont’s 22 nm SoC process uses 3D Tri-Gate transistors, which gives it additional features, such as a new out-of-order execution engine that enables best-in-class, single-threaded performance; new multi-core and system fabric architectures that are scalable up to eight cores and enables greater performance for a higher bandwidth, lower latency and more efficient out-of-order support for a more balanced and responsive system; new technologies bringing enhanced performance, virtualization and security management capabilities to support a wide range of products, such as PCS, laptops, smartphones and tablets, along with 64-bit support; enhanced power management capabilities including a new intelligent burst technology; low-power C states and a wider dynamic range of operations taking advantage of Intel’s 3D transistors along with Intel Burst Technology 2.0 support for single and multi-core which offer great responsiveness scaled for power efficiency.

“Through our design and process technology co-optimization we exceeded our goals for Silvermont,”said Belli Kuttanna, Intel Fellow and chief architect. “By taking advantage of our strengths in microarchitecture development and leading-edge process technology, we delivered a technology package that enables significantly improved performance and power efficiency—all while delivering higher frequencies. We’re proud of this accomplishment and believe that Silvermont will offer a strong and flexible foundation for a range of new, low-power Intel SoCs.”

Silvermont will serve as the foundation for Intel’s 22 nm products that are expected to go to market later this year, such as its quad-core “Bay Trail” SoC, which is scheduled for release in the 2013 holiday season, specifically for tablets. “Bay Trail” doubles the computing performance capability of Intel’s current-generation tablet offering. “Bay Trail” will also be used with entry laptop and desktop computers.

“Merrifield” is also scheduled for the 2013 holiday season, and will offer increased performance and battery life over current-generation products and brings support for context-aware and personal services, ultra-fast connections for Web streaming, and increased data, device and privacy protection.

“Avoton” will enable industry-leading energy efficiency and performance-per-watt for microservers, storage and scale out workloads in data centers. “Avoton” is Intel’s second-generation Intel Atom processor SoC to provide full server product capabilities that customers require. “Rangeley” is aimed at network and communication infrastructure, specifically for entry-level to mid-range routers, switches and security appliance. Both “Avoton” and “Rangeley” are scheduled for the second half of 2013.

In concurrence with Silvermont, Intel is also developing its 22 nm Haswell microarchitecture for Intel Core processors to enable full-PC performance at lower power levels for innovative two-in-one form factors and other mobile devices that will be available this year. Intel will also refresh its line of Intel Xeon processor families across the data center on 22 nm technology that will deliver more power efficiency and other features. “By taking advantage of both the Silvermont and Haswell microarchitectures, Intel is well positioned to enable great products and experiences across the full spectrum of computing,” Perlmutter said.

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