News of the day (February 5, 2008)

 Tukwila: 4 cores & 2 billion transistors
  Posted on 1202248992 by Nicolas

Intel is taking advantage of the International Solid State Circuits Conference which is currently taking place in San Francisco to promote its next Itanium, the Tukwila.

Engraved in 65nm, it has four cores on a single die as well as 30 MB of cache for a total of around 2 billion transistors. Expected out at the end of the year, it should function at frequencies as high as 2 GHz. For comparison, the Itanium 2 9150M "Montvale" launched at the end of 2007 is engraved in 90nm, has 2 cores, is limited to 1.66 GHz and has 24 MB of L3 cache, all of which still however represents 1.7 billion transistors.

Of course, there is still HyperThreading but Intel chose to integrate the memory controller to the processor relaying it to the chipset by a new bus series known as QuickPath Interconnect. This last component will also be used for the Nehalem. Described as having twice the performances as its predecessor for consumption that is only 25% higher, it should be commercialized for 2 to 3 years with the Poulson arriving not before 2010-2011.

 BiTMICRO : 1.6 TB SSD and 230 MB /s
  Posted on 1202244140 by Nicolas

BiTMICRO has announced that it will offer a 3"1/2 SSD with a capacity of 1.6 TB. Destined for servers, they are part of the E-Disk Altima line and are equipped with an Ultra320 SCSI interface. This SSD will use simple level Flash NAND (SLC) which is more expensive than multi-level Flash NAND (MLC) while it consumes less energy and is faster.

In terms of performances, the manufacturer announces sustained speeds of 230 MB /s without giving any other details. The price was not revealed but it should cost several thousand dollars. Configured in RAID, they could possibly rival the ioDrive.

 Product review: The AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2
  Posted on 1202217646 by Damien

To rival Nvidia on the very high end, AMD releases a dual GPU video card. Will the Radeon HD 3870 X2 allow AMD to take over the top performance spot which was lost since the arrival of the GeForce 8800 GTX ?

> Product review: The AMD Radeon HD 3870 X2

 Nvidia acquires AGEIA and the PhysX
  Posted on 1202169766 by Nicolas

Nvidia has just officially announced the acquisition of AGEIA Technologies. PhysX, the first and only commercialized Physics Processing Unit, thus falls into the possession of the firm with the chameleon logo.

Although ASUSTeK, BFG, ELSA and even Dell have offered cards equipped with the famous PPU, it never really took off. For this reason, it’s been mentioned for some time that AGEIA’s best option was probably to be bought out, something that started numerous rumors, some more than others. Of course, sooner or later one of them proved to be true.

While the buyer has not yet specified its intentions, they remind us in their press release that PhysX software is or will be used in more than 140 games and that more than 10,000 people are registered for access to PhysX SDK. Therefore this allows Nvidia to extend its repertoire of tools for developers in order that GPUs will be used to the maximum as well as encouraging them to work with their company.

Either way competition with Intel, owner of Havok, should be interesting all the more so given that no one can predict its scope. Now however, at least the situation is clear: Like graphics, physics processing is made up of millions of parallel computations. The NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT GPU, with its 112 processors, can process parallel applications up to two orders of magnitude faster than a dual or quad-core CPU. In other words Nvidia can offer largely superior performances than dual or quad core CPUs in the processing of parallel tasks. Interested parties, in particular those that do not (yet) offer a high performance GPU, should appreciate this...

 Silverthorne: the return of HyperThreading
  Posted on 1202166566 by Nicolas

Intel has unveiled new details on the Silverthorne processor which will equip the Menlow, one of its ultra mobile PC platforms, expected out in the second half of this year.

Engraved in 45nm, it will be entirely compatible with the Core 2 Duo instruction set and have a 16 stage execution pipeline. Of course, the low power consumption aspect is stressed, which is announced as 10 times less than that of the Pentium M-Celeron M (Dothan) ULV. One interesting point is that it will benefit from HyperThreading technology. While Intel speaks more of SMT (Simultaneous Multi-Threading) for the Nehalem, we will just have to wait and see what this means in practice.

This detail can be explained by the fact the Silverthorne’s architecture was conceived on its own and is not derived from the Penryn or Nehalem’s. The Santa Clara giant moreover indicates that this will enable it to one day offer a 2 GHz version that consumes less than 1 Watt. On the other hand for the first models, there has been some reservation in giving the slightest information concerning numbers. We’ll just have to see if Intel will manage to impose x86 given the solutions offered by ARM...

Copyright © 1997-2015 BeHardware. All rights reserved..