Specifications of "Centerton" Atom processors

Later this year Intel is going to introduce Bordenville platform, aimed at microserver market. The main component of this platform will be 32nm Atom microprocessor, codenamed "Centerton". New processors will run at frequencies up to 2 GHz, and feature less than 10W of Thermal Design Power. Ultra low power consumption and small form factor of new Atoms and support chips will allow Intel to achieve higher server densities than with low voltage and ultra low voltage Xeon parts. "Centerton" Atom products, and based on them microservers, will be available in the Q4 2012.

Atom "Centerton" chips will integrate two "Saltwell" CPU cores, single-channel memory controller, PCI Express 2.0 interface, and several I/O components. Each CPU core will have its own dedicated 32KB instruction and 24 KB data L1 caches, and 512 KB L2 cache. The processors will support Hyper-Threading, which will allow them to run up to 4 threads simultaneously. Additionally, the chips will have VT-x virtualization enabled. Atoms' x86 instruction set will be extended with Intel 64 technology, and SIMD instructions up to SSE3 and SSSE3. All in all, there will be three different Atom SKUs. S1220 and S1240 will operate at 1.6 GHz, and they will differ by maximum power consumption. The S1240 is a 6.1 Watt processor, whereas less expensive S1220 will have 8.1W TDP. The S1260 will be clocked at 2 GHz, and it is going to have 8.5 Watt TDP.

Atom CPUs will have on-chip memory controller, that will work with DDR3-1333 memory, as well as with low-voltage DDR3 memory with 1066 MHz data rate, and, possibly 1333 MHz. The controller will support up to 2 DIMMs, with a maximum memory size of 8 GB. Atom CPUs will have 4 PCI Express controllers with a total of 8 PCI-e 1.0 or 2.0 lanes. PCI-E interface will be used mainly to communicate with off-chip peripherals, such as external SATA RAID, USB and Gigabit Ethernet controllers. The Atoms will also include a few other interfaces, such as SPI, UART and LPC. It's important to note that, although the "Centerton" Atoms will utilize external discrete controllers, they will not require Platform and I/O controller hub chips.

Low power features of upcoming Atoms are going to include a number of core and package low power states, from C1/C1E to C6. The CPUs will also support Enhanced SpeedStep technology, that saves power by dynamically reducing core voltage and throttling down operating frequency. The Atoms will be manufactured in a BGA package.

One of the applications of Centerton Atom processors will be "Double cove" micro module. These boards will employ two processors, each with their own SATA/USB/Ethernet controllers, memory, and other required circuitry.

The table below contains the summary of Atom "Centerton" features:

ModelCoresThreadsFrequencyL2 cacheTDP
Atom S1220 2 4 1.6 GHz 1 MB 8.1 Watt
Atom S1240 2 4 1.6 GHz 1 MB 6.1 Watt
Atom S1260 2 4 2 GHz 1 MB 8.5 Watt

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