Intel today announced its Xeon E7 v2 line of processors featuring the industry's largest memory support (1.5TB per socket versus 1TB per socket delivered by alternative architectures), which enables the chips to rapidly analyze large data sets and deliver real-time insights based on a vast amount of diverse data. The processors are intended for mission critical computing chores.
New Haswell processors may arrive a month ahead of schedule
It seems like we hear something new everyday by hanging around the CPU rumor mill. Once again, Intel is at the center of speculation, though instead of talking about delays, rumor has it the Santa Clara chip maker is planning to launch its refreshed Haswell line a month early. That means new Haswell processors could appear just a few weeks from now, in April, rather than May as originally planned.
A Broadwell delay isn't what the PC industry needs
It was last October when Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said a "defect density issue" was negatively affecting yields, prompting the Santa Clara chip maker to delay its 14nm Broadwell launch by a quarter. Production was to begin in the first quarter of 2014, though there's a rumor going around that Intel might postpone Broadwell's big debut to the fourth quarter of this year. Is that really the case?
New chip from ARM takes aim at smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and more
ARM on Tuesday added to its mobile arsenal by announcing its Cortex-A17 processor, a mid-range part the company hopes will find its way into a number of different devices. According to ARM, the Cortex-A17 boasts a 60 percent performance uplift over Cortex-A9 processors, making it the fastest mid-range solution available. ARM also claims that it offers superior efficiency.
Ivytown will slip into Intel's Xeon E7 chip family
Intel's codenames for processors sound like directions someone might give you if you get lost in the country. Take a wrong turn off of I64 in West Virginia, for example, and you might be told that Ivytown is on the other side of Ivy Bridge, not to be confused with Sandy Bridge. In reality, Ivytown is Intel's codename for an upcoming 15-core Xeon processor based on Ivy Bridge and designed for high-end servers.
AMD's foray into ARM-based server SoCs begins with the Opteron A Series
A milestone has been reached in Sunnyvale less than a month into 2014. Chip designer AMD formally introduced its first 64-bit ARM-based server system-on-chip (SoC) previously codenamed "Seattle" and now called Opteron A1100. The chip is fabricated using a 28-nanometer process technology and is the first of its kind from an established server vendor. Along with the new SoC, AMD also unveiled a new development platform intended to make software design on the Opteron A1100 Series quick and easy.
AMD just fleshed out its Opteron 6300 Series of server processors with a pair of new chips, one of which is a 12-core part and the other a 16-core offering. These additions to what AMD calls "Warshaw" are intended for enterprise applications and feature AMD's "Piledriver" core architecture. They're also fully socket and software compatible with the existing Opteron 6300 Series.
The big news in processors today is the official launch of AMD's Kaveri APUs with Radeon R7 graphics, but if you'd rather wait to see what Intel has up its sleeve, you'll have to get cozy for a few months. Word on the web is that Intel is preparing to refresh its Haswell processor line with nearly two dozen new CPUs sometime in the second quarter of 2014, likely starting in May.
The boys and girls at AMD officially launched the company's 2014 A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) with integrated Radeon R7 graphics. You know the parts by their codename "Kaveri," which AMD says is representative of a major architecture improvement. Kaveri sports completely redesigned cores, new Heterogeneous System Architecture (HSA) features, new accelerators, and enhanced power management on a new 28nm manufacturing process.
Things you need to know to become a PC hardware expert
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to PCs that’s especially true, because only by knowing how your components’ specs actually affect performance can you get the maximum power you need for the type of computing you do—and avoid being seduced by features that sound impressive on the box but won’t do squat to improve your experience. Knowing your stuff has other benefits, too. An in-depth understanding of what makes all your parts tick enables you to better troubleshoot problems, upgrade in ways that make sense, and converse with other nerds in your own secret language. Turn the page to begin your crash course in PC spec-speak.
Note: This article was originally featured in the August 2013 issue of the magazine.