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Display And Memory

Meet Moorestown: Intel's Atom Platform For The Next 10 Billion Devices
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In the notebook world, most displays are based on low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS). Lincroft supports LVDS at resolutions up to 1366x768—plenty of pixels for the sub-notes in which you might expect Atom to appear. In the handheld and MID spaces, though, displays are gravitating to the Display Serial Interface (DSI) put forward by the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) Alliance. The purpose of MIPI is to establish industry standards for wired and wireless interconnects in the ultraportable world, which often have different priorities than those in the desktop or server worlds. DSI uses a form of LVDS serial bus but seeks to specify lower-cost approaches to LCDs specifically in the ultramobile market.

Today, Intel specifies that Lincroft can handle MIPI-DSI output at up to 1024x600. So, even if someone were to create a Moorestown-based device with a big enough LCD to accommodate native 1080-resolution video, Lincroft tops out at 720p to the screen via LVDS, and even less via MIPI-DSI. Why, then, should we get excited about Moorestown’s ability to handle 1080p video when no other phones can? In part, because the horsepower able to decode 1080p can also decode multiple 720p or lower streams. But also keep in mind that if your video collection is standardized on 1080p content, you don’t want to have to waste time transcoding everything you transfer over to your ultramobile device. Just copy and go—the device will take care of the rest.

Lincroft’s embedded controller supports two memory formats: LPDDR1 at speeds up to 400 MT/s and DDR2 up to 800 MT/s. Why two formats, given that memory is hard-mounted on the platform board? The answer has to do with market segments. Moorestown currently targets two device application groups, one based on communication and the other on entertainment and productivity. The communication models are the ones with 400 MT/s LPDDR, and they don’t presently span up to 1.9 GHz with BPT. That falls to the entertainment/productivity group with its 800 MT/s DDR2. Interestingly, only the latter group will support 1080p decoding. As of this writing, we still don’t have confirmation that the communication platforms will decode 720p, although it appears likely.

Typical power consumption for Lincroft and Langwell combined in standby is about 3mW. This applies to both the communication and entertainment/productivity groups. However, under active use, the higher clocks of the latter group start to take a toll. Whereas communication platforms land in the 300 to 500mW range, entertainment/productivity platforms run between 450mW and 650mW, at least on pre-release hardware.

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  • 0 Hide
    silverx75 , May 5, 2010 4:15 AM
    Man, and the HTC Incredible just came out....
  • 6 Hide
    yannifb , May 5, 2010 4:17 AM
    Huh, i wonder how this will compete with Bobcat, which supposedly will have 90% of desktop chip performance according to AMD.
  • 0 Hide
    descendency , May 5, 2010 4:29 AM
    Why isn't this a 32nm product yet? If your concern (which it would be with said devices) is power consumption, shrinking the die can only help...
  • 0 Hide
    Greg_77 , May 5, 2010 4:30 AM
    silverx75Man, and the HTC Incredible just came out....

    Man, and I just got the HTC Incredible... ;) 

    And so the march of technology continues!
  • 0 Hide
    njkid3 , May 5, 2010 4:48 AM
    well we can only wait till amd gets their ULV chips out with their on die graphics so we can get a nice comparison.
  • -8 Hide
    Chemist87 , May 5, 2010 4:56 AM
    Can it run Crysis?
  • 3 Hide
    williamvw , May 5, 2010 5:11 AM
    descendencyWhy isn't this a 32nm product yet? If your concern (which it would be with said devices) is power consumption, shrinking the die can only help...

    Time to market. 45 nm was quicker for development and it accomplished what needed to get done at this time. That's the official answer. Unofficially, sure, we all know 32 nm will help, but this is business for consumers. Right or wrong, you don't play all of your cards right away.
  • 0 Hide
    seboj , May 5, 2010 5:54 AM
    I've only had time to read half the article so far, but I'm excited! Good stuff, good stuff.
  • 6 Hide
    burnley14 , May 5, 2010 6:04 AM
    This is more exciting to me than the release of 6-core processors and the like because these advances produce tangible results for my daily use. Good work Intel!
  • -6 Hide
    ta152h , May 5, 2010 6:24 AM
    Do we really need x86 plaguing phones now? Good God, why didn't they use a more efficient instruction set for this? Compatibility isn't very important with the PC, since all the software will be new anyway.

    I like the Atom, but not in this role. x86 adds inefficiencies that aren't balanced by a need for compatibility in this market.
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , May 5, 2010 6:25 AM
    I wonder how this would stack up in terms of simple benches when compared to the atoms? Definitly for power this one is a sure winner by far but this will be interesting to see since the line between server, desktop, laptop, netbook, and mobile phone processors are getting blurred
  • 2 Hide
    anamaniac , May 5, 2010 7:29 AM
    I'm impressed, and I hope this goes far. Sounds like some awesome performance for a x86 chip that competes to RISC chips.

    I was considering buying a Sony Satio, but now I may rethink it.
    1366x768 multi-touch S-AMOLED, magnesium case, 802.11 b/g/n, 3G/4G, miniDP, miniHDMI, miniDVI, microUSB, 64GB high quality flash memory, 12MP main camera with a 5MP front facing camera, a new turbo boost that pumps cocaine into the chip until it gets too hot when the performance is needed but puts the chip to sleep in idle, and a Linux based OS specifically tailored to the chip. Sounds like something I would pay a lot for. Complete desktop PC replacement. :) 

    Don't disappoint me Intel. I was hoping for 32nm 8 core LGA 1366 chips by now when I originally bought my i7 system, and you already disappointed me.

    Now only if 5GB/month on 3G didn't cost $85/month in my area, never mind the texting/calling plan.
  • 0 Hide
    technoholic , May 5, 2010 8:28 AM
    Intel will for sure put these advancements in their upcoming Desktop CPU families. Low power consumption + high performance anyone?
  • 0 Hide
    steddy , May 5, 2010 11:29 AM
    I noticed that on the last page of the article there was a reference to "IA Architecture". Is that a typo, or did you mean to be redundant?
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , May 5, 2010 11:53 AM
    Read the whole article. Read several sections twice. It sure sounds good. Wondering what the monthly fee for service will be in 2015.
  • 0 Hide
    jesseralston , May 5, 2010 12:10 PM
    Quote:
    As mentioned earlier, has developed a tight allegiance to the Linux-based MeeGo OS, formerly known as Moblin before Intel and Nokia joined hands.
    Missed something here that seems fairly critical to the sentence.
  • 2 Hide
    Snipergod87 , May 5, 2010 2:02 PM
    Quote:
    The next checkbox item is battery life. The reality is that we all charge our phones every night. Occasionally, some unforeseen adventure or bout of brain impairment might result in needing to stretch for three or four days, but it’s rare to need a phone’s standby battery time to last for more than 48 hours


    I charge my phone once every week, i would be pretty angry if it didnt hold a charge longer than 48 hours.
  • -1 Hide
    erloas , May 5, 2010 2:34 PM
    I also only charge my phone once a week, if that. On the same token my phone is now 2 years old and still holds a charge for a week. A lot of people that charge their phone every day also tend to have phones that won't hold a charge longer then a day or two after a year anyway.

    I also don't see the use of all these MIDs. I hardly even take my laptop out because I have a desktop and other then movement there is nothing the laptop can do that I wouldn't rather use my desktop for.

    MIDs might be ok if they didn't cost an extra $30-50 a month to get access to the internet which I'm already paying $30-50 a month for for my general usage. They might start making sense when someone like Qwest starts included DSL and wireless together for a single reasonable monthly fee so I'm not paying twice for the same thing.

    And unless you absolutely have to know the instant you get an email, and can't go more then a few hours without updating your facebook page, I don't see a daily usage for mobile internet. I probably don't think "boy it would be nice if I could check the internet while I'm out" more then once every couple months.
  • -1 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , May 5, 2010 2:38 PM
    Articlewill be things like gaming consoles, connected cars, or whatever, we’re still talking about multiple billions of connected handheld devices in use.

    Good luck holding a car in your hands!

    Anyhow, the article seems mighty detailed compared to what we're used to here. Usually only don writes anything this detailed.

    Nice read, though imo the first page looks very much like a bought article.
  • -1 Hide
    jecastej , May 5, 2010 3:04 PM
    Yeah great news I think about what this all means for me! The ultramobile sector growing so fast and becoming more and more preeminent. So much excitement at your hand disposal. I don't know, call me pessimist but when looking at those charts I think the best years for desktop computing started to decline a while ago, sniff. Why, well because I see that the huge market dictates where the real money goes for development. Up to these days the desktop enjoyed most of the investment and this is because the mass market wanted faster computers for everything. And now a regular laptop is powerful enough for 90% of the task most users do and will sell 2 or 3 or more times faster. Soon smaller mobile form factor PCs will dominate and I guess my beloved desktop and workstation parts will start to cost more and be updated less frecuently. I am sitting in front of a workstation all day long and I desire a faster progression for the workstations and no any sigh of slow down.

    Anyway beside the progress in the mobile and ultramobile sector I picture in the not so distant future an ultramobile CPU with memory and graphics and storage system the size of a phone in a modular and stackable design and you will have some very serious and scalable mobile supercomputing power. But will mobile form factor CPUs ever going to surpass the need for a desktop machine? Has the computing revolution started from the bottom up and I just noticed?
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