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Intel Corporation Message Board

  • will_amd_yu will_amd_yu Jan 4, 2013 6:01 PM Flag

    ARM A15 is a Power hog according to Anandtech. Wont fit in smartphones.

    Looks like it was designed for tablets and PC's.

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    • Sure works in the Chrome book nice, frankly awesome. Sorry you missin out.

    • wbmw has done a nice analysis for all those graphically challenged ARM fanbois who need spoon feeding to understand graphical data ;-)

      investorshubDOTadvfnDOTcom/boards/read_msg.aspx?message_id=83095025

    • how embarrassing.

    • The A15 is a power hog by design and is intended to be used in conjunction with the A7 in a BIG.little configuration. The Exynos 5 is rumored to be the first chip that will use these.

    • Mindblowing how you get the title of your thread when this is taken DIRECTLY from the article you are referencing...........why the direct intention to deceive???

      The Cortex A15 data is honestly the most intriguing. I'm not sure how the first A15 based smartphone SoCs will compare to Exynos 5 Dual in terms of power consumption, but at least based on the data here it looks like Cortex A15 is really in a league of its own when it comes to power consumption.

    • Unbelievable (for a mobile chip) power consumption (at 32nm) from both the A15 and Mali-T604 (4W each at peak). The 7W (at 80c junction temp i.e good cooling solutions) Ivy Bridges will spit them both out after having chewed up the pieces. Lots of great graphs here which I may summarize later but the conclusions worth printing now

      anandtechDOTcom/print/6536

      'Determining the TDP of Exynos 5 Dual

      Throughout all of our Cortex A15 testing we kept bumping into that 4W ceiling with both the CPU and GPU - but we rarely saw both blocks use that much power at the same time. Intel actually tipped me off to this test to find out what happens if we try and force both the CPU and GPU to run at max performance at the same time. The graph below is divided into five distinct sections, denoted by colored bars above the sections. On this chart I have individual lines for GPU power consumption (green), CPU power consumption (blue) and total platform power consumption, including display, measured at the battery (red).

      In the first section (yellow), we begin playing Modern Combat 3 - a GPU intensive first person shooter. GPU power consumption is just shy of 4W, while CPU power consumption remains below 1W. After about a minute of play we switch away from MC3 and you can see both CPU and GPU power consumption drop considerably. In the next section (orange), we fire up a multithreaded instance of CoreMark - a small CPU benchmark - and allow it to loop indefinitely. CPU power draw peaks at just over 4W, while GPU power consumption is understandably very low.

      Next, while CoreMark is still running on both cores, we switch back to Modern Combat 3 (pink section of the graph). GPU voltage ramps way up, power consumption is around 4W, but note what happens to CPU power consumption. The CPU cores step down to a much lower voltage/frequency for the background task (~800MHz from 1.7GHz). Total SoC TDP jumps above 4W but the power controller quickly responds by reducing CPU voltage/frequency in order to keep things under control at ~4W. To confirm that CoreMark is still running, we then switch back to the benchmark (blue segment) and you see CPU performance ramps up as GPU performance winds down. Finally we switch back to MC3, combined CPU + GPU power is around 8W for a short period of time before the CPU is throttled.

      Now this is a fairy contrived scenario, but it's necessary to understand the behavior of the Exynos 5250. The SoC is allowed to reach 8W, making that its max TDP by conventional definitions, but seems to strive for around 4W as its typical power under load. Why are these two numbers important? With Haswell, Intel has demonstrated interest (and ability) to deliver a part with an 8W TDP. In practice, Intel would need to deliver about half that to really fit into a device like the Nexus 10 but all of the sudden it seems a lot more feasible. Samsung hits 4W by throttling its CPU cores when both the CPU and GPU subsystems are being taxed, I wonder what an 8W Haswell would look like in a similar situation...

      Final Words

      Whereas I didn't really have anything new to conclude in the original article (Atom Z2760 is faster and more power efficient than Tegra 3), there's a lot to talk about here. We already know that Atom is faster than Krait, but from a power standpoint the two SoCs are extremely competitive. At the platform level Intel (at least in the Acer W510) generally leads in power efficiency. Note that this advantage could just as easily be due to display and other power advantages in the W510 itself and not necessarily indicative of an SoC advantage.

      Looking at the CPU cores themselves, Qualcomm takes the lead. It's unclear how things would change if we could include L2 cache power consumption for Qualcomm as we do for Intel (see page 2 for an explanation). I suspect that Qualcomm does maintain the power advantage here though, even with the L2 cache included.

      On the GPU side, Intel/Imagination win there although the roles reverse as Adreno 225 holds a performance advantage. For modern UI performance, the PowerVR SGX 545 is good enough but Adreno 225 is clearly the faster 3D GPU. Intel has underspecced its ultra mobile GPUs for a while, so a lot of the power advantage is due to the lower performing GPU. In 2D/modern UI tests however, the performance advantage isn't realized and thus the power advantage is still valid.

      Qualcomm is able to generally push to lower idle power levels, indicating that even Intel's 32nm SoC process is getting a little long in the tooth. TSMC's 28nm LP and Samsung's 32nm LP processes both help silicon built in those fabs drive down to insanely low idle power levels. That being said, it is still surprising to me that a 5-year-old Atom architecture paired with a low power version of a 3-year-old process technology can be this competitive. In the next 9 - 12 months we'll finally get an updated, out-of-order Atom core built on a brand new 22nm low power/SoC process from Intel. This is one area where we should see real improvement. Intel's chances to do well in this space are good if it can manage to execute well and get its parts into designs people care about.

      If the previous article was about busting the x86 power myth, one key takeaway here is that Intel's low power SoC designs are headed in the right direction. Atom's power curve looks a lot like Qualcomm's, and I suspect a lot like Apple's. There are performance/power tradeoffs that all three make, but they're all being designed the way they should.

      The Cortex A15 data is honestly the most intriguing. I'm not sure how the first A15 based smartphone SoCs will compare to Exynos 5 Dual in terms of power consumption, but at least based on the data here it looks like Cortex A15 is really in a league of its own when it comes to power consumption. Depending on the task that may not be an issue, but you still need a chassis that's capable of dissipating 1 - 4x the power of a present day smartphone SoC made by Qualcomm or Intel. Obviously for tablets the Cortex A15 can work just fine, but I am curious to see what will happen in a smartphone form factor. With lower voltage/clocks and a well architected turbo mode it may be possible to deliver reasonable battery life, but simply tossing the Exynos 5 Dual from the Nexus 10 into a smartphone isn't going to work well. It's very obvious to me why ARM proposed big.LITTLE with Cortex A15 and why Apple designed Swift.

      I'd always heard about Haswell as the solution to the ARM problem, particularly in reference to the Cortex A15. The data here, particularly on the previous page, helped me understand exactly what that meant. Under a CPU or GPU heavy workload, the Exynos 5 Dual will draw around 4W. Peak TDP however is closer to 8W. If you remember back to IDF, Intel specifically called out 8W as a potential design target for Haswell. In reality, I expect that we'll see Haswell parts even lower power than that. While it may still be a stretch to bring Haswell down to 4W, it's very clear to me that Intel sees this as a possiblity in the near term. Perhaps not at 22nm, but definitely at 14nm. We already know Core can hit below 8W at 22nm, if it can get down to around 4W then that opens up a whole new class of form factors to a traditionally high-end architecture.

      Ultimately I feel like that's how all of this is going to play out. Intel's Core architectures will likely service the 4W and above space, while Atom will take care of everything else below it. The really crazy part is that it's not too absurd to think about being able to get a Core based SoC into a large smartphone as early as 14nm, and definitely by 10nm (~2017) should the need arise. We've often talked about smartphones being used as mainstream computing devices in the future, but this is how we're going to get there. By the time Intel moves to 10nm ultramobile SoCs, you'll be able to get somewhere around Sandy/Ivy Bridge class performance in a phone.

      At the end of the day, I'd say that Intel's chances for long term success in the tablet space are pretty good - at least architecturally. Intel still needs a Nexus, iPad or other similarly important design win, but it should have the right technology to get there by 2014. It's up to Paul or his replacement to ensure that everything works on the business side.

      As far as smartphones go, the problem is a lot more complicated. Intel needs a good high-end baseband strategy which, as of late, the Infineon acquisition hasn't been able to produce. I've heard promising things in this regard but the baseband side of Intel remains embarassingly quiet. This is an area where Qualcomm is really the undisputed leader, Intel has a lot of work ahead of it here. As for the rest of the smartphone SoC, Intel is on the right track. Its existing architecture remains performance and power competitive with the best Qualcomm has to offer today. Both Intel and Qualcomm have architecture updates planned in the not too distant future (with Qualcomm out of the gate first), so this will be one interesting battle to watch. If ARM is the new AMD, then Krait is the new Athlon 64. The difference is, this time, Intel isn't shipping a Pentium 4'

      • 3 Replies to marsavian
      • Getanid61: W510 uses more screen power than Surface not less

        tomshardwareDOTcom/reviews/atom-z2760-power-consumption-arm,3387.html

      • The ignorance level shown here is in a league of its own. ARMH is the glue for all the things Sammy, Apple, and the gang can do.

      • [Wow, this is totally amazing stuff. It's too bad that none of the big Wall Street firm analysts have access to this information. If only there were something like a public network where this type of information could be shared. An "internet" if you will. Then Wall Street could make informed conclusions. Oh, well - that'll never happen...]

        "I'd always heard about Haswell as the solution to the ARM problem, particularly in reference to the Cortex A15. The data here, particularly on the previous page, helped me understand exactly what that meant. Under a CPU or GPU heavy workload, the Exynos 5 Dual will draw around 4W. Peak TDP however is closer to 8W. If you remember back to IDF, Intel specifically called out 8W as a potential design target for Haswell. In reality, I expect that we'll see Haswell parts even lower power than that. While it may still be a stretch to bring Haswell down to 4W, it's very clear to me that Intel sees this as a possiblity in the near term. Perhaps not at 22nm, but definitely at 14nm. We already know Core can hit below 8W at 22nm, if it can get down to around 4W then that opens up a whole new class of form factors to a traditionally high-end architecture.

        Ultimately I feel like that's how all of this is going to play out. Intel's Core architectures will likely service the 4W and above space, while Atom will take care of everything else below it. The really crazy part is that it's not too absurd to think about being able to get a Core based SoC into a large smartphone as early as 14nm, and definitely by 10nm (~2017) should the need arise. We've often talked about smartphones being used as mainstream computing devices in the future, but this is how we're going to get there. By the time Intel moves to 10nm ultramobile SoCs, you'll be able to get somewhere around Sandy/Ivy Bridge class performance in a phone.

        At the end of the day, I'd say that Intel's chances for long term success in the tablet space are pretty good. Intel still needs a Nexus, iPad or other similarly important design win, but it should have the right technology to get there by 2014.

        Intel is on the right track. Its existing architecture remains performance and power competitive with the best Qualcomm has to offer today."

        Sentiment: Strong Buy

 
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