Intel ‘Bay-Trail’ Platform And ‘Valleyview’ SoC Detailed
Aside from offering desktop and mobile solutions in LGA and BGA packages respectively. Intel also has the ‘Atom’ lineup to it’s disposal. It’s the brand name of Intel’s ultra-low voltage x86-x64 microprocessors. The Atom processors compete directly with AMD’s Fusion C-series and ARM based chips such as Nvidia Tegra 3 and Qualcomm Snapdragon etc.. While Atom may not be as popular as it’s competition, Intel is hard at work making Atom a viable and excellent platform. Presentations from Intel about the next-generation Atom platform have made their way to the internet, courtesy 3DCenter.org.
The slides reveal quite a bit of information of Intel’s next-generation Atom solution, ‘Bay Trail-T platform’ and ‘Valleyview SoC’ . The next-generation Atom chips will be a true single-chip SoC (with complete integration of the chipset into the processor die), up to four x86-64 cores, Intel’s 7th-generation graphics supporting DirectX 11, native USB 3.0 support and support for DDR3L memory. The new Valleyview SoC architecture offers 50-100% performance improvement over it’s predecessors. The core’s also feature ‘Burst’, a function similar to Turbo boost that enables higher-clocks in short bursts, rather than throughout high processing loads.
Intel’s graphics core is touted to feature a 300 percent performance improvement over it’s predecessors, along with supporting DirectX 11 and resolutions as high as 2560×1600. Mobile display resolution are increasing at an alarming rate, iPad 3 and Nexus 10 are one of the many examples. It’s good to see Intel gearing up for the best.
The Bay-Trail platform itself will be classified into three main categories, Bay Trail-T for tablets, Bay Trail-M chips will be used for inexpensive notebooks (succeeding Intel’s Cedar Trail chips) and Bay Trail-D for low-cost desktops, nettops and similar computers. The tablet constraint platform, Valleyview-T SoC features the smallest package with a TDP of just 3W and measuring only 17 x 17 mm. It get’s rid of useless features such as PCI-e interfaces and too many USB ports, resulting in room for low-bandwidth low- pin-count interfaces such as I2S, HSUART and USB 3.0 OTG. Bay-Trail M and D only differ in terms of TDP. They feature a TDP of 6.5W and 12W respectively. They remain identical in size (27 x 25 mm) and support PC-centric interfaces such as PCI-Express and SATA.
According to the slides, the chips will pre-ES development in this quarter for internal testing by Intel. Engineering samples will be ready by Q3 2013 and the products will start shipping in Q1 2014.