Feeds

'Diamondville' to shine as Intel's next Atom

Inside the 'Silverthorne' architecture

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Intel executives admitted that Diamondville's clock speeds aren't directly comparable to those of the company's other mobile and desktop processors because all Atom chips have to process instructions in the sequence the commands appear in a program. This 'in order execution' contrasts with the 'out-of-order execution' technique employed by Merom, Penryn and other Intel CPUs to process whatever instructions they can, wherever they appear within a program. Silverthorne is Intel's first in-order CPU since the original Pentium. Its instruction processing pipeline is 16 steps long.

Intel's Atom Sleep States

Power down: Silverthorne's sleep states

Out-of-order can boost performance because it means some instruction can be fed into CPU components that might otherwise be standing idle while another instruction is being dealt with. The upshot is that the chip can process more instructions in a give time, so it's faster. The cost is the complex circuitry needed to make this possible, circuitry missing from the Silverthorne and Diamondville architecture to keep the die size down.

To balance that, they use HyperThreading to try and keep otherwise un-utilised logic units occupied. How the absence of out-of-order and the presence of HT will balance out remains to be seen, so all we can say for now is that a 1.6GHz Atom N270 isn't necessarily going to be much faster than a 900MHz Celeron M - the Eee PC's processor - only that it probably will be. We'll have to wait for independently run benchmarks to find out for sure.

Intel Silverthorne die

Silverthorne vs Penryn

For its part, Intel claimed this week that adding HyperThreading delivers a performance boost of around 37 per cent for an 18 per cent increase in power consumption when compared to a Silverthorne without HT running at the same clock speed.

The suggested chipsets mean Diamondville systems aren't going to be graphics powerhouses. With the emphasis on low costs, it seems unlikely that vendors will add in discrete GPUs to take over from the chipsets' GMA950 integrated graphics. If it happens, it'll be in desktops, but don't hold your breath.

Expect Diamondville to debut in June.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.