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The Atom C2000 series

Intel is offering a host of Atom C2000-series products based on Avoton and Rangeley. As you can see, the power envelopes range from 6W to 20W, with four to eight CPU cores. All of these models are based on the Avoton and Rangeley dies, which natively have eight cores. Those with lower core counts just have one or two dual-core modules disabled. The fastest versions have base clocks of 2.4GHz and Turbo peaks just a smidge higher, at 2.6GHz.

We haven't tested an Atom C2000 ourselves (yet?), but Intel has provided a few performance numbers that offer a sense of what to expect. The rise in Stream performance compared to the older "Centeron"-based Atom S2160 is substantial. I expect the gain comes in part from Avoton's dual channels of memory at 1600 MT/s and in part from architectural changes, with more cores and more internal bandwidth via the system agent and IDI.

Since these performance numbers are only relative, we can't compare bandwidth to Xeons and Opterons running Stream, unfortunately.

Here's a look at integer computation performance. Again, the improvement from the prior generation is over 4X. Obviously, the Marvell SoC based on quad ARM Cortex-A9s is overmatched, partially because it simply can't accommodate enough RAM to run four threads simultaneously.

Then again, one gets the sense that Avoton's true competition will be based on ARM's Cortex-A57 core, with true 64-bit addressing via the ARMv8 ISA and copious amounts of bandwidth courtesy of the truly impressive "uncore" complexes ARM is now licensing to its partners. AMD and others have products in the works that should match up much better against Avoton, at least on paper.

I suppose that's a big part of the story here: by delivering Avoton-based products today, Intel is well out ahead of its competition in a market where it has perceived a threat to its business. The interesting question now is whether Avoton's apparent advantages in terms of compatibility, performance, and availability will be enough to head off the threat from a host of ARM-based SoCs that will surely be inexpensive, power efficient, and tailored exceptionally well for specific uses. At the very least, Intel isn't making it easy for them.TR

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