E3800 Family Platform for Intelligent Systems – Overview
While designed to be a true test of Intel's performance in the ultra mobile space, Silvermont is the first true architecture update to Intel's Atom processor since its introduction in 2008. Leveraging Intel's first 22nm process and a very low powermicro architecture, Silvermont aims squarely at the latest Krait cores from Qualcomm and ARM's Cortex A15. Based on Silvermont, Intel® introduces E3800 product family, a series of system on chip (SoC) designed for low-power, feature-rich and highly-capable applications.
Bay Trail: Not just for Atoms anymore
E3800 product family combines a CPU based on Intel's new Silvermont architecture with a GPU that is architecturally similar to (but less powerful than) the HD 4000 graphics engine integrated in the 3rd generation Intel® Core processors launched in early 2012. These core components are combined with dedicated I/O blocks and media encoding and decoding to make one system-on-a-chip, which is then manufactured on the 22nm process (and the 3D tri-gate transistors) currently being used for both the 3rd and 4th generation Intel® Core processors.
Since Silvermont is the first major overhaul of the Atom CPU architecture since it was introduced in 2008, the main performance improvement will come from the CPU's new out-of-order (OoO) execution engine, which allows the CPU to process different instructions as soon as resources to execute them are available. On the graphics side, E3800 product family's GPU uses the same Intel® execution units (EUs) as the 3rd generation Intel Core processors' HD 4000, which gives them support for most of the same APIs and features: DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0 (and OpenGL ES 3.0 on mobile, provided the drivers support it), and OpenCL 1.2 support are all present on the API side, and dualdisplay support for panels up to 2560×1440 (or 1080p over HDMI) as well as via Intel's Wireless Display feature will please multi-monitor fans.
Feature and performance
Extended beyond Atom Processors
E3800 product family contains the Silvermont CPU cores, and there can be up to four of them, sharing a total of 2 MB L2- cache. The CPU cores are supported by the Intel-developed HD Graphics GPU with 4 execution units. That's different with Atom, because Atom chips usesthe PowerVR GPUs from Imagination Technologies. An integrated power controller distributes the available power between the CPU and GPU cores. In addition to a GPU, E3800 product family also has an integrated image processor that will be used for things like processing images from tablet cameras.
The integrated memory controller supports dual-channel LPDDR3- 1066 or single-channel DDR3L-RS-1333. There can be a maximum of 2 GB per channel, which means the dual-channel versions can have a maximum of 4 GB RAM.
The SoC is equipped with USB 3.0 controllers for peripheral devices, along with energy-efficient SPI and I2C busses commonly used in mobile devices. Storage support comes in the form of eMMC flash and SD cards. Same as the previous generation Atom, E3800 product family has no SATA controller.
Power-Saving and Management
Aside from the shrink to 22nm, Intel® is employing a few of the same tricks in E3800 product family as it does in Intel® 4th Generation platform to increase battery life without unduly impacting performance. First up is Turbo Boost, which can increase the speed of both CPU and GPU cores as long as there is thermal (and power) headroom available. The idea behind this technology is that most common computing tasks are "burst-y"—they require short bursts of activity followed by longer idle stretches. Turbo Boost is designed to get those short bursts out of the way more quickly so that the SoC can return to a low-power idle state more quickly. E3800 product family employs Turbo Boost in both its CPU and GPU cores, and the two different blocks will communicate to make sure they've achieved the best balance of CPU and GPU performance. That "active idle" feature from Clover Trail and Intel® 4th Generation Platform, which reduces the amount of time the computer needs to enter and exit these idle states, is also included in E3800 product family.
A useful power-saving feature is called Display Power Saving Technology (DPST) 6.0. The backlight of a screen saves the most power in laptops and tablets. DPST can save power by applying a clever combination of image processing and backlight adjusting, basically increasing the brightness of the incoming visuals and dimming the backlight.
The other feature highlighted is power gating, which shuts off unused parts of the SoC entirely and only keeps the parts of the chip awake that have to be. This is nothing new in CPUs, but the Intel-provided heat map of the E3800 product family SoC shows just how completely those parts of the chip can be turned off when they're not being used
In the past, Intel® platform operates from 0°C to 90°C, or from 0°C to 100°C, as a standard range of temperature depending on the model of platform. E3800 product family is the first IntelCPU that supports extended range of temperature, operating from -40°C to +110°C, for harsh environment. It comes with 1, 2 or 4 CPU cores. Entry-level SKU has 1 CPU core, 146 GHz clock rate, and TDP 5W. Mid-class SKU has 2 cores, 1.33 GHz - 1.75 GHz clock rate, and TDP 6W ~8W. High-end SKU has 4 cores, 1.91 GHz clock rate, and TDP 10W. Integrated memory controller on entry-level and mid-classSKUs will have only one channel, whereas high-end and premium SKUs will have two memory channels. They incorporate AES instructions and work with ECC memory.