Feeds

Inside Intel's 'Moorestown'

Can Atom 2.0 get into smartphones?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Brierstown connects to Langwell and is what Intel calls a Mixed Signal Integrated Circuit (MSIC). It's something of a grab bag of parts. For instance, it houses Moorestown's audio codec circuitry and the touchscreen controller. It also integrates a lot of lesser electronic components - clock chips and the like - which helps keep Moorestown's overall size down. Menlow required up to 800 of these chips, capacitors and so on, depending on configuration. Many of them are a result of its PC-oriented past. Moorestown, with its handheld-specific design and level of integration gets these power consumers down to half that total.

Moorestown Atom

Power gating allows entire sections of chip to be turned off

A compact Menlow motherboard comes in at around 8500sq mm - a Moorestown board should be half that: 4250sq mm. Future platforms, most notably 2011's 32nm 'Medfield', should reduce that even further, perhaps down to 2833sq mm.

Bringing these into Briertown reduces size and power consumption, but the MSIC's real contribution to Moorestown's power characteristics is as the system's main power monitor and arbiter. It takes the feed from the system's temperature sensors - those in the host device, and those in Langwell and Lincroft - and, on the basis of the power management policies, tells Lincroft's PMU what components to close down and to re-activate.

Langwell also has its own PMU, and Briertown directs that too, again powering down islands of functionality that are not currently needed then re-energising them when they are.

That temperature information can be used to do some clever performance-boosting tricks. If Lincroft's CPU is under load but the chip's overall thermal output is below TDP - perhaps because the video and graphics engines have been powered down - Brierstown can tell Lincroft's PMU to push up the CPU core's operating frequency and voltage.

The result is a burst of performance - in excess of 1GHz, Intel has said - that gets the CPU job done more quickly. When the task is complete, the OS' power management system can send the CPU back into an idle state.

Intel Moorestown

Burst Mode: boosting Moorestown's CPU speed for better battery life

Intel reckons it's better to take a quick hit on power consumption by dynamically overclocking Lincroft's CPU when appropriate - it'll do so for just a few milliseconds at a time, says Intel - than to keep the CPU running a task for longer but at a slightly lower frequency. The sooner it can get the chip back to an idle, powered down state, the longer the battery will last.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.