Intel Diamondville - low-power CPU for cheap systems

Posted on Monday, Dec 03 2007 @ 20:31 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
ARS Technica reports about Intel's upcoming 45nm Diamondville processor, this is a ultra-low-power chip that will be released next year.
The first detail that Intel's Anand Chandrasekher announced on Monday in an interview with IDG is that Diamondville is a Silverthorne derivative. This tidbit clarifies the confusion around Mooly Eden's comments back in October, when the vice president's comments about Diamondville and OLPC set off a round of press articles claiming that Diamondville would be a "new architecture from the ground up" designed for OLPC. I talked to Intel the day after those articles came out, and the company clarified that the "new architecture" was a low-power, low-cost derivative of an already announced product, and that it would have wider applications than just OLPC.

Silverthorne is already extremely small, so it's not quite clear what the company can strip out of it to make it even smaller and cheaper. I suppose that Intel could cut down on the amount of cache and tier the chips that way, but my suspicion is that the company will differentiate the products by speed bin. So the fastest chips will be sold as Silverthornes (or, rather, as whatever Silverthorne's official brand name turns out to be), and the slower, even more low-power chips will be sold under the brand that replaces the Diamondville codename.

The second detail that came out of IDG's interview is that Silverthorne is a new microarchitecture, whatever that means. "What we have done is changed the microarchitecture dramatically, effectively tore it up and re-did it, to get to lower power," Chandrasekher told IDG.
The Diamondville will be targeted at sub-$300 applications like the OLPC and the Asus Eee PC.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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