Published in PC Hardware

Atom server chips might be toast

by on10 June 2016

Intel is walking away like Craig David

The dark satanic rumour mill is suggesting that Intel is about to kill off its Atom’s for server programme.

In 2013, Chipzilla started work on a server processor code-named Avoton and a networking-oriented counterpart called Rangeley which were based on Silvermont. Silvermont was a low-power, low-cost Atom processor which was aimed at micro-servers.

Intel’s roadmap was to follow Avoton with Denverton, using next-generation Goldmont CPU cores and built on the company's 14-nanometer chip manufacturing technology. But Chipzilla keeps making excuses for its delay or pointing into the horizon and saying "oh look there is a badger with a handgun." 

First, it was supposed to be here in 2016 and later Intel roadmaps said 2016. The latest one says “beyond 2016.” Duke Nukem was more specific, and so was Zen.

Intel’s higher-performance Xeon processors will be a better proposition by the time this one comes out and face it who is going to want a chip that should have come out in 2015 in 2017.

Logically Intel must be thinking of giving up on it. The reason could be that few people are interested in Avoton and Rangeley and this could mean an end of Atom-based server chips as a concept.

Intel must be thinking that the time wasted on Atom-based server chips would better spent plugging its Xeon D product line.

Intel seems to be slimming down a lot lately. This week it let its first batch of workers go from its Irish plant. The last thing it wants is pushing chips that no one wants. Of course this leaves the area open to Arm, but so far no one has demonstrated that is an option either.

Last modified on 10 June 2016
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