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Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Intel At Computex 2014

Intel a Computex announced the Devil’s Canyon, its first 4GHz CPU, plus a 20th-anniversary Pentium processor, the Intel SSD DC P3500 and DC3600 solid-state drives utilizing PCI Express (PCIe) with NVM Express (NVMe) technology for data centers and the first 14nm fanless, detachable 2 in 1 powered by the new Intel Core M processor.

Intel Corporation President Renée James highlighted the Intel technologies, products and collaborations with the Taiwan and broader ecosystem aimed at making a new wave of computing devices smart, integrated and connected to each other, the cloud and to people's lives. She said Moore's Law is the foundation, while also reducing costs for increasingly smaller form factors with the performance and lower power people have come to expect.

Underscoring that point, she talked about Intel's commitment to deliver a broad choice of SoC and communications options for tablets and smartphones across a range of form factors, price points, and operating systems. James noted that Intel currently has 130 tablet design wins that are either in market or will be in market this year, from global OEMs and ODMs. More than a dozen Intel-based tablets are launching in the Computex timeframe. Approximately 35 percent of Intel Atom processor-based tablet designs currently include or will include Intel communications solutions.

James also said the category 6-capable Intel XMM 7260 LTE-Advanced platform is now shipping to INtel's customers for interoperability testing. This new technology is expected to appear in devices in the months ahead.

Foxconn executive Young Liu joined James on stage to showcase more than 10 Intel-based tablets available now or coming soon, ranging from the entry to performance segments. The tablets are based on Intel Atom processors (codenamed "Bay Trail" or "Clovertrail+") SoCs, and many include Intel's 3G or LTE communications platforms.

James also made the first public phone call using a smartphone reference design based on the dual-core Intel SoFIA 3G solution. Intel will also bring a quad-core SoFIA LTE part to market in the first half of 2015 and last week announced a strategic agreement with Rockchip to add a quad-core SoFIA 3G derivative for entry-level tablets to the SoFIA family, also due in the first half of next year.

James also revealed the world's first 14nm fanless mobile PC reference design from Intel. The 2 in 1 is a 12.5-inch screen that is 7.2mm thin with keyboard detached and weighs 670 grams. It includes a media dock that provides additional cooling for a burst of performance. The design is based on the first of Intel's next-generation 14nm Broadwell processors that are purpose-built for 2 in 1s and will be in market later this year. Called the Intel Core M processor, it will be the most energy-efficient Intel Core processor in the company's history. The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless and deliver both a fast tablet and a thin laptop.

James introduced the 4th generation Intel Core i7 and i5 processor "K" SKU, the first from Intel to deliver four cores at up to 4 GHz base frequency. This desktop processor, built for enthusiasts, provide higher performance and enable new levels of overclocking capability. Production shipments begin in June of this year.

Code-named Devil’s Canyon,the new processors are the Core i7-4790K and Core i5-4690K. Intel will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Pentium processor by introducing the all-new Pentium G3258.

The Core i7-4790K runs all four of its cores at a base clock frequency of 4.0GHz, and will also run in 'Turbo' mode at a frequency of up to 4.4GHz. However, at single core loads the user will see 4.4 GHz and at full-core loads it will be 4.2 GHz.

The new Core i5-4690K, meanwhile, will operate at a base clock speed of 3.5GHz with a turbo frequency up to 3.9GHz. Both new CPUs have unlocked clock multipliers, which will enable the end user to push these chips' operating frequencies even higher.

The Core i7-4790K will have 8MB of cache, where the Core i5-4690K has 6MB. But both processors will have the same integrated graphics processor - an Intel HD 4600 - and both will be capable of addressing DDR3/1600 memory over two channels.

Notice that the i7 part is featuring hyperthreading for a total of eight threads. The TDP has a small bump from 84W to 88W, while the official memory support stays at two channels of DDR3-1600.

Compatibility for these processors will be on all Z97 (LGA 1150) motherboards, and it should extend to Z87 if and only if the motherboard manufacturer has engineered the motherboard to cope with the increased power consumption and also release a relevant BIOS update.

Intel has also made the following changes to the packaging of the new chips:

Intel used a new thermal interface material (TIM), which the company calls a 'next-generation polymer'. It’s essentially grease that the factory applies to the heat spreader housing the processor. This would allow to push the temperature of the CPU a little higher, resulting to a boost in its operating frequency. In addition, Intel has reworked part of the power delivery around the FIVR to give a cleaner power delivery. The result is a new thermal solution that works with existing cooling solutions.

Intel expects the new Core i7 part to sell for $339 and the Core i5 for $242 (that’s for quantities of 1000 without a heatsink and fan).

Intel also also unveiled an unlocked Pentium processor, the Pentium G3258. It will operate at a base frequency of 3.2GHz, but it will have an unlocked multiplier. This dual-core part will have integrated Intel HD Graphics and be capable of addressing DDR3/1333 memory over two channels. It will be compatible with Socket 1150 motherboards with Intel 8- or 9-series chipsets, and it will have a TDP of 53 watts. Intel expects it to cost $72 (in quantities of 1000, without a heatsink or fan).

For the performance-hungry data center I/O needs, James introduced the Intel Solid-State Drive Data Center Family. The drives will be broadly available in the third quarter of this year.

The Intel SSD DC P3700, P3600 and P3500 are all PCIe SSDs that feature a custom Intel NVMe controller. The controller is an evolution of the design used in the S3700/S3500, with improved internal bandwidth via an expanded 18-channel design, reduced internal latencies and NVMe support built in. The controller connects to 2TB of Intel's 20nm MLC NAND.

PCIe with NVMe moves data and storage closer to the processor, eliminating hardware and storage protocol-related latencies and boosting the overall performance of a system.

The NVMe 1.0 specification, a new industry-standard storage interface protocol developed by the NVMHCI Work Group, defines a scalable architecture that unlocks the potential of PCIe interface SSDs. The standard was developed specifically for PCIe-interface SSDs and provides a performance boost and reduction in latency. It offers a throughput improvement of up to 6x and reduced interface latency that can exceed 6 Gbps SATA SSDs.

The Intel SSD Data Center Family for PCIe takes advantage of Intel’s third-generation controller and custom firmware. Through NVMe-based PCIe, the new SSD delivers up to 2.8GB per second read speeds, up to 1.9GB per second write speeds, and up to 460,000 input and outputs per second (IOPS).

The Intel SSD Data Center Family for PCIe works with the NVMe drivers provided across operating systems - including Windows and Linux– and with the latest Intel platforms, including the forthcoming server platform code-named Grantley.

With multiple check points, the new SSDs protects data. Power loss protection enables data in-flight to be saved in the event of a power loss. The drives also include integrated die parity protection (XOR).

The drives are backed by Intel’s 5-year limited warranty and have an average time between failures of 2 million hours, or more than 228 years. The P3700 Series offers 10 full-drive writes per day over the life of the drive, totaling 36 petabytes, or 459 years of high-definition video. For less demanding sequential workloads, the P3600 Series delivers three drive writes per day, and the P3500 Series offers 0.3 drive writes per day. Each drive comes with an endurance manager for added reliability.

The Intel SSD Data Center Family for PCIe will come in a small 2.5-inch form factor (SFF-8639) for hot-swappable front panel serviceability and an add-in card form factor for broad compatibility with existing PCIe-based systems.

It will be offered in 400GB, 800GB, 1.2TB (P3500 and P3600 only), 1.6TB and 2TB. Prices start from $560.

James also highlighted collaborations and new advances to bring Intel RealSense technology and 3-D cameras and supporting applications to a growing number of 2 in 1, all-in-one, tablet and other personal computing devices. She said that the Intel RealSense software development kit 2014 will be made available to developers in the third quarter of 2014, providing opportunity for developers to create natural user interfaces. The company will hold the $1 Million Intel RealSense App Challenge 2014, and the ideation phase will begin in third quarter of 2014.

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