New Silicon Insider Article

Article: Escape From the Planet of x86
By: Bill Todd (billtodd.delete@this.metrocast.net), June 18, 2003 2:10 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Alberto (albertobu@libero.it) on 6/18/03 wrote:
---------------------------
>Bill Todd (billtodd@metrocast.net) on 6/17/03 wrote:
>---------------------------
>>David Kanter (dkanter@realworldtech.com) on 6/17/03 wrote:
>>---------------------------
>>>Pau
>>>l D
>>>eMo
>>>ne
>>>has
>>>j
>>ust finished his latest article, entitled
>>>Escape from the Planet of x86
. This article deals with the history of
>>>x86, the complexity introduced by the instruction set, as well as several attempts
>>>to supplant x86 as the desktop architecture and a discussion of the theory that
>>>IPF is intended to replace x86 on the desktop.
>>
>>The article does touch on at least two points I've noticed previously and meant to question:
>>
>>1. It once again alleges that a 1.3 GHz Madison/Deerfield will ship at relatively
>>low power (60-something W is a figure I think Paul has mentioned at least once).
>>Now, I do recall an article a while ago that stated that a 1.0 GHz 62 W. variant
>>would be provided (with 1.5 MB of on-chip cache, though my impression is that the
>>cache even when it's larger doesn't really soak up a large percentage of the total
>>chip power), but that, combined with another reference I'm sure I've seen to Madison's
>>peak power at 1.5 GHz being the same as McKinley's (130 W), makes a 1.3 GHz part
>>at half that power seem a bit unrealistic.
>
>If you read:
>http://www.intel.com/design/itanium2/download/14_4_slides_r31_nsn.htm
>
>and go to pag.24, you will note that Intel
>don't have problem to lower power below 1.6-1.5Ghz.

And I never suggested in the least that it did. Though it is interesting to note that it doesn't seem to clock all that much *faster* than 1.5 GHz even if you raise the voltage all the way up to 1.5v (where they'd seem hard-pressed to get more than about 1.6 GHz out of it with a decent margin of safety, if I understand the chart correctly).

However, that interesting .pdf (thanks for the pointer) does support my understanding that Madison indeed consumes 130 W at 1.3v (and 1.5 GHz). So how the power consumption could be halved by reducing the voltage only 15% and the frequency only 13% (to 1.1v and 1.3 GHz, as you suggest below) remains unclear to me (though I don't have any problem believing that a 1 GHz part - possibly at even lower voltage - might halve the power requirement).

>
>If necessary, a 1.3Ghz 6MB model go at 1.1V and
>likely even less with half L3.........
>
>
>>2. There's also at least the suggestion that a 90 nm Itanic could appear some
>>time next year. While that was the original schedule for 'Montecito' (before Montecito
>>was redefined to be a dual-core chip), the last I knew Montecito was deferred to
>>2005 and my impression was that the 9 MB Madison now planned for 2004 was a (very large) 130 nm device.
>
>Yes but this is true? Or Intel will make a single core
>0.09u cpu in the second half of 2004 and a double core
>Montecito in 2005 ;)????

Since that would simply be a return to its original plan for 2004 (and what I suspect was its original plan for 2005, given early statements about a planned 'bump' for Montecito at that time), why would Intel have announced a *change* in those plans (including, my impression was, the delay of any 90 nm Itanic until 2005)?

- bill

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