Intel announces Centerton, the server Atom

Too little, too late, the world has moved on

Intel - logoIntel just announced their Xeon branded Atom called Centerton, can you feel the excitement? If you feel underwhelmed, you are not alone.

Short story, take a current Clovertrail 32nm Atom, blow a few less fuses so 64-bit functionality is not artificially turned off, and call it a server part. Slap a Xeon name tag on it, add a brand that we told you about in May, a new name, S1200, and you will kick ARM back to the curb, right? Given the excitement surrounding this part, we don’t think ARM should feel threatened just yet, if SeaMicro didn’t manage that, a new brand won’t either.

In fact, there are three specs that matter in this beast, and give Intel about a year advantage over ARM. Those are 64-bits, ECC memory for real, and the 6W TDP. That last one is a bit worse than the competition, but better than what Intel had. The first two are standouts, but won’t be for long. Intel’s myopically missed this nascent market in a bid to protect big chip margins, and will pay the price in a few quarters. The world moved around Intel, and now no one cares.

The one interesting bit? Intel admitted to Avoton, the 22nm Atom for servers we told you about over a year ago. This part is an 8-core 22nm Atom for servers, a real Atom for servers, not a hack like Centerton. It should have about 20-25% more IPC than current cores, and suck a bit more juice. Expect this one to not set the world on fire either, but we didn’t expect it to. Told ya.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate