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Graham Bell
Graham Bell
Graham is VP of Marketing at Real Intent. He has over 20 years experience in the design automation industry. He has founded startups, brought Nassda to an IPO and previously was Sales and Marketing Director at Internet Business Systems, a web portal company. Graham has a Bachelor of Computer … More »

Intel’s new SoC-based Broadwell CPUs: Less Filling, Taste Great!

January 22nd, 2015 by Graham Bell

Intel recently announced its new fifth generation ‘Broadwell’  processor chips for personal computers, laptops and server.   Using  14nm geometry the new line of CPUs offers a lower power footprint, better throughput for multimedia, while keeping computing performance flat.

The following graphic outlines that the raw number of transisitors has grown 35% to 1.4 billion for an i7 CPU.   The TDP (total dissipated power) for theses designs is only 15W.   It can throttle back to 7.5W for even lower battery burn.


For server applications, the CPUs are even larger to almost 2 billion transistors.  Total power tops out at 28 watts.


One thing that needs to be noted about these designs, is that they were created using a SoC (not Semi-custom) design flow.  This means the aggregation of different RTL IP and then running it through synthesis tools to create gate-level netlists that are then routed.   In the past, Intel would spend years creating a design netlist using a custom or semi-custom design flow.   With Intel’s new 14nm Broadwell chips, the age of SoC has fully arrived.

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