Intel's Tunnel Creek CPU is a lifeline for nVidia's ION
7/22/2009 by: Theo Valich
While the original ION is getting market traction, the fears about the future of nVidia's chipset line-up is still in the air.
The company made a majestic SNAFU when it stopped offering AMD chipsets [guys, you can call us and claim nForce 980a is available, but let's be honest], and focused on offering Intel chipsets at the same time when Jen-Hsun stated that they will "open a can of whoop-ass on Intel".
With Intel's Core i5 and i7 series using either QPI [Quick Path Interface] or DMI [Direct Media Interface] and Intel's claims that nVidia doesn't have a license for either, a lot of questions hang in the air. But recently, we received information that might clear some things up. For starters, DMI is nothing more but a PCI Express using non-standard connections.
In 2010, Intel will launch its successor to existing Atom CPU codenamed Medfield. Medfield is probably going to end up manufactured in 32nm process, integrating one or two CPU cores, integrated graphics and I/O controller hub [Northbridge].
There are going to be two versions of Medfield, one intended for netbooks, and one intended for smartbooks/smartphones i.e. MIDs [Mobile Internet Devices]. But what is interesting is development of Tunnel Creek, a "preview for Medfield". Tunnel Creek is a 45nm CPU targeting a TDP of mere 3W. What makes Tunnel Creek unique is the fact that the processor will use PCI Express to link itself to the Southbridge e.g. use a industry standard bus, instead of propriatary one.
Intel already sampled this CPU to its valuable partners, and we started to receive information about potential combinations. From one side, partners might integrate this CPU into a entry-level NAS [Network Attached Storage], pairing the setup with cheap DDR2/3 memory and an ultra-fast RAID chip, or into netbooks of today and tomorrow.
We heard that it isn't impossible to pair Medfield processors with the upcoming ION2 chipset simply by linking PCIe connection to the CPU. It would be interesting to see Medfield used in 2D mode and then ION2 for 3D.
In any case, Intel's Atom platform for 2010 is shaping up nicely, and Intel will take the fight to Qualcomm's, TI's and nVidia's doorstep. One thing is certain: expect a true mobile revolution coming in the second half of 2010.
With the beginning of 4G LTE [Long Term Evolution] deployment, telco operators see a new revenue opportunity and the number of smartphones, smartbooks and netbooks. Intel already dominates the telco sector who are now offering netbooks [almost all exclusively offer Atom platform]. With ION2 attaching to the Medfield, the silicon giant doesn't have to worry about anti-trust lawsuit either - they are open for 3rd party chipsets.
nvidia, nvidia corporation, intel, intel corporation, atom, atom cpu, platform, netbook, smartbook, smartphone, mobile internet device, mid, cpu, gpu, imc, soc, dmi, qpi, pcie, pci express, 32nm medfield, tunnel creek, Quick Path Interface, Direct Media Interface
© 2009 - 2011 Bright Side Of News*, All rights reserved.