Analyst: Intel microserver chips less efficient than Xeon

Posted on Thursday, Feb 07 2013 @ 12:13 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
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EE Times reports Intel's new Centerton, a dual-core Atom-based chip for microservers, seems like a step in the wrong direction. Linley Gwennap, principal of the Linley Group, argues the chip is less power efficient than Intel's existing Xeon server processors, leaving a significant opportunity for alternative, ARM-based SoCs.
Intel released last year the Atom S1000, also known as Centerton, a dual core chip meant to fend off mainly ARM-based server SoCs from a growing group of vendors. While it reduced power consumption to 6.3W, it does not support Ethernet, Serial ATA or USB controllers or multithreading.

“According to data Intel provided, this chip is less power efficient than its Xeon, so it seems like we are going in the wrong direction,” Gwennap said. “It’s not really a system on a chip yet, it has significantly lower performance and only uses 32-nm process technology,” he said at the Linley Data Center Conference here.

Gwennap characterized the chip as a placeholder for Avoton, a 22-nm CPU with a new Atom core. “They haven’t announced what it is yet, and it will not be in production until the second half of the year,” he added.

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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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