Intel’s code names have gotten even more confusing with the new Atom processors.
It used to be that Intel had one code name for a processor family or process technology variant and then the part number SKUs followed easily from that. Haswell, for instance, is the 4th Generation Core family and the SKUs are 4-digit numbers starting with “4″. Ivy Bridge was 3rd Generation with 4-digit SKUs starting with “3″. And so on.
The Atom family has changed all of that and I’m confused as hell. Every time I see a new Atom SKU like “C2000″ or “E3800″ I have to do some research to figure out what the heck it actually is. For some reason, Intel has split the Atom family into mobile, value desktop, microserver, and SoC versions. I’ve yet to find a comprehensive comparison chart that maps the code names (and former code names) to SKUs, markets, or other useful quick-look info. The chart probably exists somewhere on the massive Intel website(s) ecosystem. Or in a PowerPoint presentation presented at an overseas conference. Or maybe not.
Here are a few hints, but I won’t even pretend that this is accurate or comprehensive.
The Artist Formerly Known as Bay Trail
Intel tries to demystify this whole naming bug-a-boo with a sort-of useful table called “Products (Formerly Bay Trail)”.
Bay Trail is the newest 22nm Atom designed for mobile, value desktop and the sorts of applications you’d expect Haswell’s baby brother to target. But there are also “Pentium” versions (J and N versions) and Celeron versions (N). Intel is targeting these at desktops, low-end laptops and other “value” platforms that can’t bear the price of Ivy Bridge or Haswell CPUs and chipsets.
Bay Trail Atoms also come in E and Z versions. E38xx was just launched and is called the “SoC” version, is based upon Bay Trail’s Silvermont microarchitecture, and has a TDP of 10W targeting embedded applications. The Z versions are aimed at tablets–exactly the target you’d expect for Intel’s flagship low power CPU.
Atoms to Protect and Server
Then there are the C2000 Atom versions. There are two flavors here, broken down by market segment. They’re all 22nm Atoms, but the C23xx, C25xx and C27xx SKUs target servers–more specifically, the microservers where ARM is making headway. Intel’s got a leadership position in servers with Sandy Bridge (Gen 2), Ivy Bridge (Gen 3), and Haswell (Gen 4) CPUs…plus all manner of heavy weight Xeon server CPUs. So it’s essential to offer a competitive product to whatever ARM and their partners might throw at servers (such as the multi-threaded A53 or single-threaded, deep pipeline A57).
To confuse matters further, there’s the C2000 Atoms targeted at communications platforms. Bizarrely, Intel also calls them–wait for it–C23xx, C25xx, and C27xx. Could they not have changed a few digits around to protect designers’ sanity if only to obviate the need to look them all up?
These Atoms aren’t Bay Trail at all–they’re the former “Avoton” coded Atoms and they’re definitely not aimed at mobile like Bay Trail. As I dug a bit deeper to try to figure this out, more code names like Rangeley popped up. Along with an Avoton block diagram that showed the same Bay Trail Silvermont core surrounded by Avoton I/O resources all labeled “Edisonville”. Avoton? Rangeley? Edisonville?
(Sigh.) At that point I decided to stick with the Bay Trail embedded versions for now and forget about the networking and communications versions before my head exploded. I’ll dig into this again with a fresh perspective and see if I can find a roadmap slide that makes this all clear.
If you can suggest some links–better yet, Intel charts–that stitch the Atom family into all of its permutations please send me a link. I’ll post your name with fanfare and gratitude.
In the meantime, be sure to always check www.ark.intel.com as your first SKU reference. It won’t map part numbers to the all important market segments, but it’s a good start.