The explosion of smart phones, initially kicked off by the iPhone, has fueled tremendous improvement in mobile processors. We went from 1 GHz single-core processors to 1.5 GHz quad-cores in less than three years. Now, the relatively easy ways of improving performance performance are out due to power and heat considerations, and manufacturers are being forced to innovate.
Nvidia chose to increase the number of GPU cores to 72, and switched to quad-core Cortex-A15 (with a fifth power saving core) for the Tegra 4. Some doubts have already been raised about Nvidia’s performance claims, but we will have to wait to know for sure. Qualcomm is relying on a combination of updating the GPU, increasing the CPU clock speed to up to 2.3 GHz, and increasing the bandwidth to deliver performance improvements with its new Snapdragon 600 and 800 series chipsets. Current generation Snapdragon chipsets have been reported to generate a lot of heat and as Qualcomm continues to push the clock speeds, that might become a bigger concern.
A short while back, Samsung revealed its cards, and shared with the world what it has in store for mobile devices. The new Exynos 5 will boast of an octa-core CPU. Yes, you read it correctly. The next generation SoC (System on Chip) from Samsung will have eight cores. Fortunately, the Exynos will never use all eight cores simultaneously. Exynos 5 will have two clusters of quad-cores. One of them will be Cortex-A15 CPUs, while the other one will be Cortex-A7 CPUs. A7 CPUs are known to consume a lot less power, and will be used for non-intensive tasks. In other words, Samsung is hoping to improve upon Nvidia’s concept of using a fifth power saving core for common tasks to save battery. The A-15 CPUs will kick in only when required, and as per Samsung’s stats, can deliver more than twice the performance of Exynos 4 quad.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 and Samsung’s Exynos might be the current champions of performance in the mobile arena; however, if leaked slides are to be believed, their reign might not last long. Nvidia’s Tegra 4 will be six times as powerful as the Tegra 3 and feature as many as 72 GPU cores.
Tegra 4, which bears the superhero-themed codename Wayne, will use 28 nanometer process that is already being used by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A6X. The improved 28nm architecture should lower power consumption, but will require enhanced heat dissipation. Nvidia is also updating its mobile powerhouse to ARM’s Cortex-A15 design. The Tegra 4, will retain the quad-core CPU setup, with an additional power saving core. The chip will be capable of powering displays up to 2,560 x 1600, with 1080p output at 120Hz. The slide also mentions 4K or Ultra-HD (UHD) output. The other exciting development is the inclusion of support for USB 3.0, which should give a bump to read and write speeds.
If the leaked slide is accurate, then Nvidia will again jump to the front of the pack and raise the bar for mobile computing. We will know for sure within a couple of months it is almost certain that Nvidia will show off its newest creation at either the CES or the MWC.
Today, AMD announced a refresh to its AMD FX family of processors aimed at enthusiasts and overclockers. The latest FX series processors are based on a new micro-architecture from AMD – Piledriver – that offers up to 15% better performance at a lower price point compared to the previous generation of FX processors.
“Gamers and PC enthusiasts who buy AMD FX processors have even more to cheer about with the increased speeds and value we are delivering starting today,” said Leslie Sobon, vice president of Desktop and Component Products, AMD. “After introducing the industry’s first and only eight-core desktop processor last year, we now have even faster stock frequencies and an all-new, high-performance x86 core architecture to satisfy power-users.”
As of now, AMD will be releasing 4 different FX processors at key price points. The cheapest, FX-4300, will cost $122 and consist of 4 cores with a max frequency of 4GHz, while the top of the line FX-8350 packs a whopping 8 cores clocked at 4.2GHz with a suggested retail price of $195. The FX-6300 and FX-8320 sports 6 and 8 cores with a maximum frequency of 4.1 and 4GHz, respectively. These processors will couple for $132 and $169, respectively.
While an octa-core processor with such a high frequency within $200 sounds tempting, keep in mind that AMD’s processors are no match for Intel’s Core series in terms of performance. The company has been struggling to catch up with Intel’s tick-tock release schedule ever since the latter released its Core 2 Duo series of processors.
Today, AMD unveiled its new FX series of CPUs for desktop PCs. This new series of processor from the company is aimed at enthusiast and overclockers, and come with a fully unlocked multiplier. This also marks the return of FX brand from AMD, which had earlier died thanks to the onslaught of Intel’s Core series of processor.
The AMD FX series of processors include the first-ever eight-core desktop processor, to be priced at a mere $245. The FX series of CPUs are based on AMD’s new micro-architecture Bulldozer.
AMD FX CPUs are back with a vengeance, as validated by the recent feat of setting a Guinness World Records ® title for Highest Frequency of a Computer Processor,’said Chris Cloran, corporate vice president and general manager, Client Group at AMD. While overclockers will certainly enjoy the frequencies the AMD FX processors can achieve, PC enthusiasts and HD media aficionados will appreciate the remarkable experience that AMD FX processors can provide as part of a balanced, affordable desktop system.
All the CPUs under the FX brand will come with unlocked multiplier, and use AMD’s Turbo Core Technology to optimize performance and lower power-consumption.
Below are the specifications and price of the various FX processors announced by AMD today :
- FX-8150: Eight cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.9 GHz Turbo Core, 4.2 GHz Max Turbo), $245 suggested retail price (U.S.)
- FX-8120: Eight cores, 3.1 GHz CPU base (3.4 GHz Turbo Core, 4.0 GHz Max Turbo), $205 suggested retail price (U.S.)
- FX-6100: Six cores, 3.3 GHz CPU base (3.6 GHz Turbo Core, 3.9 GHz Max Turbo), $165 suggested retail price (U.S.)
- FX-4100: Four cores, 3.6 GHz CPU base (3.7 GHz Turbo Core, 3.8 GHz Max Turbo), $115 suggested retail price (U.S.)
The new FX series of processor should be available at all major online retailers and physical shops near you, by the end of this week.
Intel has finally unveiled its next generation of Core architecture based micro-processors. This new generation of Core i3, i5 and i7 processors from Intel promise to be faster and more power efficient as well. These new CPUs also feature a new integrated graphics core dubbed as processor graphics. They are capable of providing up to 2x the performance boost compared to the GMA4500 IGP from Intel.
In all, Intel has released 29 brand new CPUs across the Core ix range including the mobile processors. All these new CPUs are manufactured on the 32nm fabrication process thus helping in reducing power consumption. With this refresh, Intel has also improved its Turbo Boost and Hyper Threading technologies. These new CPUs also include new features from Intel like WiDi 2.0, Intel InTru 3D and Quick Sync Video. Readers can read more about these new CPUs here.
The sad part is that these new Core CPU’s from Intel requires an all new LGA-1155 socket based motherboards. Intel could have easily maintained backward compatibility with the older LGA-1156 socket based motherboards. Sadly, the company did not do so.
Ironically, these CPUs have been on sale even before Intel announced them. In fact, many consumers have already got new systems based on these new generation Core processors.
Marvell today announced the world’s First 1.5 GHz Tri-Core Processor which delivers Dual Stream 1080p 3D Video for Smartphones and Tablets, the Marvell ARMADA 628. The ARMADA three-core processor offers ultra-high performance on mobile devices. It incorporates a number of advanced processing and power management features. The tri-core processor provides superior performance and lower power over dual-core designs and ensures a richer, faster and smoother experience as compared to any other ARM-based processor.
Marvell has once again set the benchmark for the rest of the industry with the world’s first 1.5 GHz tri-core processor, delivering dual stream 1080p 3D video and 3D graphics performance with quad unified shaders for 200 million triangles per second delivered on ultra-low-power, long battery life smartphones and tablets,said Weili Dai, Marvell Co-founder and Vice President and General Manager of Marvell Semiconductor’s Consumer and Computing Business Unit.
This is important because today’s consumers expect robust enterprise and consumer applications delivered to the palm of their hands. Marvell is uniquely equipped to lead this mobile revolution as the semiconductor industry’s one-stop shop solution provider. This is an example of Marvell’s unique ability to take a diverse cutting edge technology portfolio and integrate into differentiated solutions to give our customers game-changing advantage,said Weili Dai.
Key Features of Marvell ARMADA 628:
- World’s first “tri-core” application processor
- Up to 1.5 GHz for the two main cores and 624 MHz for the third low power core
- “Heterogeneous multiprocessing” with “hardware-based Cache Coherence”
- 1 MB System Level 2 Cache
- Platform leading multimedia capabilities, including support for both WMMX2 and NEON acceleration
- Member of the ARMADA family of processors for easy software porting
- 1080p dual stream 3D video applications (30 FPS, multi-format)
- Ultimate 3D graphics performance with quad unified shaders for 200 million triangles per second (MT/s)
- High performance, integrated image signal processor (ISP)
- Ability to project images on multiple simultaneous displays
- 2 LCDs, 1 HDMI, 1 advanced EPD controller
- Peripherals support: USB 3.0 Superspeed Client, MIPI CSI, MIPI DSI, HDMI with integrated PHY, UniPro, Slimbus, SPMI
Marvell Armada 628 is already available for available for sampling to potential customers. To learn more, head over to this page.
Long live Intel Celeron! Intel had first launched the Celeron brand in April 1998. The Celeron brand mainly consisted of budget CPUs. The first Celeron CPU was based on the Pentium II architecture. Even today, Intel sells quite a few budget oriented dual-core processors under the Celeron brand.
Now, Intel is going to pull the plug on the Celeron brand starting next year. DigiTimes reports that Intel has informed various notebook and PC manufacturers that they will replace the Celeron series with the Pentium and Atom N series processors. Intel is expected to launch new dual-core Atom N series processors by the third quarter of this year. The price point of these new Atom N series processors will be similar to the Celeron processors.
Intel is also expected to release new Celeron CPUs in September. Intel has not yet confirmed whether they intend to phase out the Celeron brand by 2011 or not.
It was just a few weeks ago, we had reported that Intel will soon be launching Core i3 ULV processors. Today, Intel has officially launched the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) version of Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. According to Intel, these new ULV processors are based on the 32 nanometer manufacturing process and are up to 32% smaller, while providing up to 32% better performance. These new ULV processors also consume 15% less power than their predecessors. The TDP of these new chips is a mere 17W.
“Consumers crave laptops that offer style and performance, and the new 2010 Intel ® Coreâ„¢ Ultra-Low Voltage processors for ultra-thin laptops delivers both, in one sleek design. Intel’s leadership in 32nm high-k metal gate process technology, combined with breakthrough architecture and design has enabled thinner, lighter and faster notebooks than previous models, with terrific battery life. Not only are laptops becoming ultraportable, but with the new processors inside, users will see faster response times and less waiting,” said Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel.
These new ULV processors from Intel also feature the Intel Hyper-Threading technology and the Intel Turbo Boost technology. Along with the Core series ULV processors, Intel also launched the Mobile Intel 5 series chipset. This new chipset is designed to work in tandem with the new Core architecture based ULV processors.
Intel expects up to 40 models of notebooks based on these new ULV processors from Acer, Asus, Lenovo and MSI by the end of June.
It seems like some people who bought the Core i7-920 CPUs from NewEgg recently have gotten a bad bargain. NewEgg somehow got hold of 300 fake processors when it bought 2000 pieces from the D&H Distribution company. The packaging passes as real at first glance but a closer look including a instructional manual filled with blank pages tells the real story.
When Vincent Waller of Oregon received the fake unit, he shared the images on a tech forum warning others of the issue. NewEgg has apparently apologized to him and sent out a new unit, which hopefully will be more real. NewEgg did issue a public statement about the confusion and said
Newegg is aware of a shipping error that occurred with certain recent orders of the Intel Core i7-920 CPU. After investigating the issue internally it appears one of our long term partners mistakenly shipped a small number of demo boxes instead of functional units. Our customer service team has already begun proactively reaching out to the affected customers. In line with our commitment to ensure total customer satisfaction, we are doing everything in our power to resolve the issue as soon as possible and with the least amount of inconvenience to our customers.
However, its hard to believe that 300 demo pieces made their way into the inventory without anybody noticing it. Quality Assurance somebody?? Another reason why NewEgg’s story seems to lack credibility is that Intel is calling them fake products instead of being demo pieces. Who knows what the truth of the matter is but this definitely gives NewEgg a big bad stain of negative publicity.
Update: NewEgg has sent an email to Hardocp, the original source of the news, explaining that the units were infact demo units and D&H was not the vendor. The complete text of the email can be read here. The misinformation originated somewhere from within the source that supplied NewEgg with the initial information. It seems like NewEgg has finally come clean with the issue.