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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Intel Delivers 6-Watt Server-Class Processor

Intel on Tuesday officially introduced the Intel Atom processor S1200 product family today, delivering a low-power, 64-bit server-class system-on-chip (SoC) for high-density microservers, as well energy-efficient storage and networking systems.

"The data center continues to evolve into unique segments and Intel continues to be a leader in these transitions," said Diane Bryant, vice president and general manager of the Datacenter and Connected Systems Group at Intel. "We recognized several years ago the need for a new breed of high-density, energy-efficient servers and other datacenter equipment. Today, we are delivering the industry's only 6-watt1 SoC that has key datacenter features, continuing our commitment to help lead these segments."

The Intel Atom processor S1200 SoC, dubbed Centerton, includes two physical cores and a total of four threads enabled with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology (Intel HT). The SoC also includes 64-bit support, a memory controller supporting up to 8GB of DDR3 memory, Intel Virtualization Technologies (Intel VT), eight lanes of PCI Express 2.0, Error-Correcting Code (ECC) support for higher reliability, and other I/O interfaces integrated from Intel chipsets. The new product family will consist of three processors with frequency ranging from 1.6GHz to 2.0GHz.

The Intel Atom S1200 product family is also compatible with the x86 software that is commonly used in data centers today. This enables easy integration of the new low-powered equipment and avoids additional investments in porting and maintaining new software stacks.

The Intel Atom processor S1200 product family is the first low-power SoC with server-class features offering as low as 6 watts of TDP. The family will be composed of 3 parts, the S1220, the S1240, and S1260.

Intel Atom Lineup
Model S1220 S1240 S1260 D2700
Codename Centerton Centerton Centerton Cedarview
Core/Thread Count 2/4 2/4 2/4 2/4
Frequency 1.6GHz 1.6GHz 2.0GHz 2.13GHz
L2 Cache 1MB 1MB 1MB 1MB
Max Memory 8GB 8GB 8GB 4GB
Supported Memory DDR3-1333 DDR3-1333 DDR3-1333 DDR3-1066
ECC Yes Yes Yes No
VT-x Yes Yes Yes No
PCIe 2.0 Lanes 8 8 8 4
TDP 8.1W 6.1W 8.6W 10W

Intel says that more than 20 low-power designs including microservers, storage and networking systems use the Intel Atom processor S1200 processor family from companies including Accusys, CETC, Dell, HP, Huawei, Inspur, Microsan, Qsan, Quanta, Supermicro and Wiwynn.

Intel is also working on the next generation of Intel Atom processors for extreme energy efficiency codenamed "Avoton." Available in 2013, Avoton will further extend Intel's SoC capabilities and use the company's 3-D Tri-gate 22 nm transistors.

Intel will also release low-voltage Intel Xeon processor models for low-power servers, storage and networking next year. The company will introduce the new Intel Xeon processor E3 v3 product family based on the "Haswell" microarchitecture. These new processors will take advantage of new energy-saving features in Haswell and provide balanced performance-per-watt.

The Intel Atom processor S1200 is shipping today to customers with recommended customer price starting at $54 in quantities of 1,000 units.

Intel dominates the PC and server markets, but was slow to design chips for the mobile market, where chips using technology from ARM Holdings have become ubiquitous. In October, ARM unveiled new chip designs aimed at microservers. ARM believes servers using low-power chips based on its designs could account for a fifth of data centers by 2020.

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