New Silicon Insider Article

Article: Escape From the Planet of x86
By: Paul DeMone (pdemone.delete@this.igs.net), June 18, 2003 3:04 pm
Room: Moderated Discussions
Bill Todd (billtodd@metrocast.net) on 6/18/03 wrote:
---------------------------
[...]
>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).

Intel is free to chose the sample it schmoo'd from anywhere in the process. Can
you think of good strategic reasons for and against choosing parts in the slow vs
typical vs fast processing range for public disclosure prior to product introduction?
Is Intel more interested in exciting customers who rarely get excited about clock
rates anyway or avoiding tipping its hand to its competitors?

>
>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).

Explain how.

> 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 you start with faulty assumptions things only go down hill. A shmoo plot tells
you absolutely nothing about power and is only a single sample anecdotal hint
about the frequency yield. We don't know anything about which stepping this is
compared to the production device. Similar faulty assumptions were the basis
of apparent good sounding arguments in the past why Willamette would never
scale above 1.7 GHz and why Northwood would never get above 2.5 GHz.

I think the picture will become much clearer in a few weeks when we get a
chance to look at the Madison data sheet.
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