Intel has unveiled a new low-power, high-performance microarchitecture called Silvermont. This microarchitecture will serve as the foundation for a breadth of products manufactured using the 22-nanometre fabrication process, and is expected to hit the market later this year.
Chips based on Silvermont will be aimed squarely at devices with low-power requirements, all the way from smartphones to data centres. However, the mobile devices market will be the prime target of Silvermont-based chips. Intel has been struggling to get a footing in the ARM-dominated mobile chipset segment. With a market share of little over one percent, it wouldn’t be unfair to say Intel has been largely irrelevant in the smartphone race. The company is reportedly in discussions with Apple to produce chips for future iPhones and iPads.
Stepping up the mobile game?
The Silvermont chipsets will be manufactured using the company's 22nm Tri-Gate SoC manufacturing process, which, Intel claims, improves performance and 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's Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer. “Early sampling of our 22nm SoCs 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 has a wider dynamic range and scales up and down in performance and power efficiency. It’s said to deliver three times the peak performance of the current-generation Intel Atom processor core, or similar performance but with five times lower power consumption.
Additional highlights of the Silvermont microarchitecture include a new multi-core and system fabric architecture that's scalable up to eight cores, and greater performance for high bandwidth, low latency and more efficient out-of-order support. It also brings enhanced power-management capabilities, including Intel Burst Technology 2.0.
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