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Thread: Jump on board the Intel bus

  1. #1
    popopot's Avatar To Me, To You BT Rep: +5
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    From: http://www.theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=38964

    One of the most significant things Intel is doing this IDF is going unnoticed by many.

    It took a friendly fellow pointing it out to open our eyes to the biggest bombshell of the show. Intel is opening up the front side bus (FSB).

    Yes, it is. You can now get non-Intel things that plug in to the CPU socket, a first. Think about this. When was the last time you saw something without a blue logo, dropped e or not, in a socket 603/4 or 771?

    The magnitude of this should not be underestimated, it is one of the 'thou shalt nots' of the Intel competition manual, how it forced AMD to make their own bus and how it keeps chipset makers in line. The fact that it is opening it is a huge statement as to how seriously it take sTorrenza.

    The module itself is a Xilinx Virtex 5, and on the bottom this particular one has 604 pins, perfect for plugging into an Intel Xeon infrastructure. It emulates the FSB with about 10 per cent of its capacity - leaving the rest for user mischief.

    This is not a development platform, it is intended to be a fully functional device for production. You can either get one pre-programmed to do what you want, or customise the module in hardware.

    Right now, there are 800 FSB versions like the one pictured running at the show, but 1066 versions are up at Xilinx, so you should see them in the not so distant future. These parts consume around 20W, so if you can use them, they offer a rather compelling performance per watt advantage over the same Intel CPUs they displace.

    This shows that Intel is willing to take AMD seriously as a competitive threat, and is prepared to act upon it. In addition to this breaking one of the most sacred taboos at Intel, it also hints that engineering now has the upper hand over beuraucracy.


  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    mym_2006's Avatar Torrent Lover BT Rep: +13BT Rep +13BT Rep +13
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    thx for information ... look for more




  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    lynx's Avatar .
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    What's this report actually saying?

    Is it saying that other chips can replace Intel's processor, or is it an additional chip in a multi-socket board? The picture certainly shows multiple sockets, but the purpose is unclear.

    If it is the former, then I doubt we will see another full scale cpu, so presumably it would be a chip for other purposes. No real worries for AMD's cpu production on that score, but a boost for Intel's general chip production if the FSB can be used in other devices such as HighDef Video receivers.

    If it is the latter, this could be the one area where Intel's use of an FSB to communicate between processors has an advantage over AMD's DirectConnect Architecture, but there's plenty of other ways to access FSB speed buses without using the processor socket, so what would be the point?

    In any case, I don't see anything special about this. They must have revealed trade secrets about the FSB to other chip makers (such as Nvidia, Via etc) otherwise they would be the sole chipset makers, which in itself would prohibit them from lucrative government contracts. AMD are far enough down an alternative path that there cpu products are likely to be in any way threatened by this move. I can see lots of possibilities in the embedded processor area though.
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  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    popopot's Avatar To Me, To You BT Rep: +5
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    What's this report actually saying?

    Is it saying that other chips can replace Intel's processor, or is it an additional chip in a multi-socket board? The picture certainly shows multiple sockets, but the purpose is unclear.

    If it is the former, then I doubt we will see another full scale cpu, so presumably it would be a chip for other purposes. No real worries for AMD's cpu production on that score, but a boost for Intel's general chip production if the FSB can be used in other devices such as HighDef Video receivers.

    If it is the latter, this could be the one area where Intel's use of an FSB to communicate between processors has an advantage over AMD's DirectConnect Architecture, but there's plenty of other ways to access FSB speed buses without using the processor socket, so what would be the point?

    In any case, I don't see anything special about this. They must have revealed trade secrets about the FSB to other chip makers (such as Nvidia, Via etc) otherwise they would be the sole chipset makers, which in itself would prohibit them from lucrative government contracts. AMD are far enough down an alternative path that there cpu products are likely to be in any way threatened by this move. I can see lots of possibilities in the embedded processor area though.
    I think the point is to allow other chips to be plugged into the second cpu socket on an dual socket motherboard, for example. I am sure I read about AMD doing something similar a while back, but I can't remember where.


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