Intel last week had already given the heads up that it was rebranding its Atom processors into three performance tiers -- Atom x3, Atom x5, and Atom x7. The Santa Clara chip maker didn't provide any details at the time, leading us to speculate that the first new Atom parts would be based on the company's upcoming 14nm Cherry Trail architecture. Turns out we were two-thirds correct, as Intel has now formally introduced its next generation Atom parts.
Cherry Trail shows only marginal improvement over predecessor in leaked benchmarks
Intel began shipping its new Cherry Trail Atom chips to its partners in the first week of January and now we have got our first benchmark scores. If you were expecting the 5th generation Atom chips to be a huge improvement over current-generation tablet SoCs (systems on chip), you are in for a bit of a shock.
Pint sized PCs are a thing now. Not that they weren't before, but with increasingly faster and energy efficient hardware coming out of Santa Clara, little boxes like the NUC (Next Unit of Computing) are fast becoming viable candidates for primary PC duties. That's especially true of Intel's fastest NUC yet, the forthcoming NUC5i7RYH equipped with a 5th Generation Intel Core i7 5557U processor.
Rebranded Atom chips follow Intel's Core naming convention
Intel is rebranding its Atom processor line so that customers will have an easier time determining the level of CPU performance at a glance. To do that, Intel is splitting Atom into three distinct levels -- Atom x3, Atom x5, and Atom x7. It's a similar approach to Intel's Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 naming conventions, which follows the good, better, best construct, and it will start with the next generation of Atom CPUs.
Shuttle's been a player in the small form factor (SFF) space ever since our cave dwelling ancestors first discovered the PC, which back then was made out of stone and dinosaur bones (this is why we don't teach history, folks). Fast forward to today and Shuttle is still making SFF systems, its latest creation the DS57U, the company's first mini barebones PC with a built-in Broadwell processor.
We are coming up on the semi-centennial anniversary of Moore’s law, a prediction in 1965 by Intel founder Gordon Moore that the number of transistors on an (economical) integrated circuit would continue to double every 12 months until at least 1975, at which point he revised the rate of “circuit density-doubling” to 24 months. The prediction has held up rather well since then. But with all due respect to its remarkable longevity and massive impact on technology, the many physical limitations to transistor scaling at smaller nodes have led many to conclude the famous axiom is on borrowed time. Intel, however, looks determined to soldier on with Moore’s law beyond the 10nm node.
Rumor has it that Intel is delaying the release of its 14nm Skylake desktop CPUs until around the end of August instead of late in the second quarter as originally scheduled. Keeping in mind that none of this is official -- Intel hasn't made any Skylake announcements that have to do with release dates -- a leaked slide earlier this month showed both Skylake-U (mobile) and Skylake-S (desktop) parts at the tail end of Q2.
Google-branded hybrid device is reportedly being developed by Quanta Computer
Google is getting ready to give Wintel-powered 2-in-1 devices a run for their money with a Chromebook-tablet hybrid of its own and the device is expected to be ready by the end of this quarter, notorious rumor monger Digitimes said Friday in a report citing unnamed sources in the “upstream supply chain.”
The HP Stream 7, which was part of our massive holiday deals roundup last year, is now available at an irresistible price of $79 from the Microsoft Store. Not only is that 20 percent lower than the original asking price of $99, but the 7-incher’s current price tag also includes a one-year subscription to Office 365 Personal worth $69.99 and a Windows Store gift card worth $25.
Leaked slide shows next generation chipsets with more PCIe lanes
It's been several years since we've seen a meaningful upgrade to PCI Express in Intel's chipsets. For the most part, budget on up to high-end motherboards have been limited to eight lanes at Gen2 speeds, though it appears that's going to change once Skylake arrives. A leaked slide posted to a Chinese-language website indicates that Intel's forthcoming 100 Series chipset for Skylake will ditch PCIe's eight Gen2 lanes for up to 20 lanes running at Gen3 speeds.