Yonah Yonah Yonah

It sounds like it should be part of a song, but really, it's just the core name of Intel's most promising dual and single core approaches that will launch in Q1'06. Anand gets uncomfortably giddy whenever someone mentions Yonah, although some of the revelations like clock speed were a large letdown to us. Yonah is definitely something that we talk about a lot and the 65nm dual core processor based on an evolved Dothan is really exciting. Even with the letdown on clock speed, there are more SKUs than we had originally thought, which should make low end laptops and media centers really competitive on the low end. Media centers, you say? Yes, it looks like Pentium M finally does have some sanctioning by Intel for use outside of laptops and blades. The bold chipsets indicate discrete graphics only.

Intel Single Core Value Desktop Lineup LGA775

Chipset

FSB Clock

Memory Clock

Launch

955XM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945GM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945PM

667MHz

DDR2 667MHz

Q1'06

945GMS

667MHz

Single Channel

DDR2-533

Q2'06

940GML

533MHz

DDR2-400

Q2'06

915GM

533MHz

DDR2 533MHz

Soon

915PM

533MHz

DDR2 533MHz

Soon

915GMS

400MHz

Single Channel

DDR2 400MHz

Soon

910GML

400MHz

DDR2 400MHz

Soon


Intel is launching two chipsets dedicated specifically for small form factor notebooks and PCs; 915GMS (soon) and 945GMS (Q2'06). 915GMS utilizes single channel DDR2-400 and 400FSB, while the much more powerful 945GMS will use single channel DDR2-533 and a 667FSB. For laptops, avoiding dual channel memory isn't a bad idea, but judging by the performance increase that we saw when running Dothan on an 865PE motherboard using ASUS' adapter, Pentium M can certainly make use of additional memory bandwidth - compression, games, and workstation tasks all showed pretty significant performance increases. We got a small taste of Pentium M in the digital home at Computex this year with some demonstrations of 915GMS from manufacturers like Shuttle and Intel. Don't expect HTPCs all over to start using Pentium M in troves, but at least it's a win for those who enjoy Pentium M over Pentium 4 and Pentium D.

Intel's integration of 945 and 955 into the next generation Centrino platform (also known as Napa) will come in three main flavors (945GM, 945PM and 955XM) with 945GMS taking up the SFF route a quarter later. Napa gets all the function from each of the existing chipsets, but also adds iAMT to the Yonah processor, Vanderpool, 3945ABG wireless and Gigabit Ethernet. This all has us very excited until we caught a glimpse of the launch speeds and prices.

Intel Dual Core Mobile Lineup LGA775

Processor

Speed

L2 Cache

FSB

Launch

Cost

Pentium M x50

2.16GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$637

Pentium M x48 LV

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$316

Pentium M x40

2.0GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$423

Pentium M x38 LV

1.50GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$284

Pentium M x30

1.83GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$294

Pentium M x20

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q1'06

$241

Pentium M TDB

1.66GHz

2MB

667MHz

Q2'06

$209

Pentium M TDB LV

1.20GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'06

???

Pentium M TDB LV

1.06GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'06

???

Pentium M 780

2.26GHz

2MB

533MHz

Q2'05

$637

Pentium M 770

2.13GHz

2MB

533MHz

Now

$637


The new Yonah chips are denoted with an "x" in front of their product name because we do not know where they will fall into Intel's product naming yet - although 8xx or 9xx would be the best candidates. There are two surprises here, the first obviously being the low clock speed. We had expected a higher clock than the existing Pentium M chips, much in the same manner that Dothan is capable of higher speeds than the earlier Banias chips. However, just as Cedar Mill and Presler come with similar clock speeds to their 90nm predecessors, Yonah is initially slated to launch at about the same speeds as current Dothan parts. The clock ramp will surely come eventually, but don't expect phenomenal clock speeds particularly for a first generation. Intel claims that the TDP for 2.0GHz Yonah will be around 31W and 15W for the Low Voltage version.

As a dual core solution, Yonah is the most advanced (other than perhaps Itanium 2 Monticeto) solution that we have seen out of either AMD or Intel. This has a lot to do with the fact that Yonah isn't just two cores slapped together (notice that they share the same cache). It is being built from the ground up as a dual core solution, similar to how Banias was designed specifically with the goal of low power and mobility. We have high hopes that it will realize better performance scaling than some of the other Intel dual core chips. Here's where things take an interesting twist.

The second big surprise are the "TBD" (To Be Determined) chips. These are single core Yonahs. Since all the original documentation about Yonah claimed that the two cores were intertwined, our guess is just that the single core versions are identical to the dual core versions with a single core disabled. Given the added complexity of a second core, we wouldn't be surprised to find that the single core Yonahs will initially be composed of chips with one faulty core - rather than throw out the whole core, Intel can just deactivate the faulty half and sell it at a reduced price. We've been seeing this for quite a while with reduced cache versions of some processors, and it makes sense from a manufacturing and yield perspective. For $209, however, a single core 1.66GHz Yonah would have to have some pretty amazing performance increases over the existing Pentium M 740 and 735 that cost just over $200 today. It looks like we will find out a year from now.

Yonah has other endeavours as well, including a server variation on the chip (Sossaman) and Celeron M. Sossaman will begin to replace Low Voltage and Ultra Low Voltage versions of Xeon as early as Q1'06. Pentium M has already proven itself extremely valuable in the blade market, so dual core, dual processor configurations seemed almost inevitable. The first dual processor configurations of Sossaman are expected in Q2'06. Yonah already has some extremely interesting design features, but whether or not they scale to two or more processors is something that we definitely plan on exploring more in the future.

Celeron M for Yonah will have 1MB L2 cache and run at 533FSB. Unfortunately, it does not appear that Yonah Celeron M will utilize EIST. Details on Celeron M seem very sparse, but we do know that the new Celeron M lineup will start 4xx.

Desktop Roadmaps Continued The Server Side of Things
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  • cssmicro - Friday, July 22, 2005 - link

    50 - I don't think you realize how cost-inneffective it is to create a completely new process flow or sort flow just to turn off a feature. Creating a different chip costs many hundreds of thousands of dollars PER LAYER that's changed. The mask changes alone would cost about half of a million dollars per reticle. Forget about the engineering initiative necessary to design the changes. It would be retarded of Intel to make a move like that. 45 hit the nail right on the head. The same products will be made, and then filtered out by working/non-working parts at end of line sorting.

    You don't really think your graphics / non-graphics chipsets are MADE differently, do you? (PSST, they're not). Simply put, they're all tested at the end of production. Some have working graphics sub-systems, some don't. They're distributed accordingly.
    Reply
  • cornflake - Monday, June 20, 2005 - link

    I'm not sure how much Intel paid AnandTech for this article, but it must be a grundle to shovel it like this...

    "As a dual core solution, Yonah is the most advanced (other than perhaps Itanium 2 Monticeto) solution that we have seen out of either AMD or Intel."

    Wow, so they have some cool new integrated memory controller in place to leap frog AMD. NO, well then what about the new Intel branded Hyper-transport knock off they are working on? Oh well, at least we can look forward to some big Intel adds on AnandTech in the coming months!

    Perhaps when AnandTech talks about how advanced a platform is, they should wait until they can compare the performance with others as they did recently in their article...

    http://www.anandtech.com/IT/showdoc.aspx?i=2447


    AMD is a full generation ahead in technology and a generation behind in fluff.
    Reply
  • Icehawk - Friday, June 17, 2005 - link

    What matters is how fast Corporates embrace 64-bit outside the Enterprise app level (since most are still mainframe or at least Unix based). Generally technology and software updates are slow to rollout due to costs, contracts, stability, etc. If, somehow, 64-bit was to become part of the mainstream corporate app profile - THEN it will matter if Intel has a 64-bit mobile (laptop) processor.

    I would add at least one year past when Longhorn finally debuts before you see a major shift towards 64-bit. Until then it won't be a big deal IMO.
    Reply
  • apriest - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Dual Dempsey's sounds intriguing... and dang expensive I'll wager... Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    52:
    Add 1 for EM64T support on 5xx and 3xx CPUs.
    Add 2 for VT support on 6xx CPUs.
    Add 3 for 65nm 6xx CPUs that overlap 90nm parts (and have VT).

    Otherwise, it's basically higher numbers within the same family gives better performance/features. It's a way to de-emphasize MHz/GHz, since we may be plateauing on clock speeds for a while. Intel spent so long convincing people to upgrade PCs for an extra 400 MHz that they now need to change tactics. Smart marketing, really.
    Reply
  • cryptonomicon - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    for the love of god, can someone explain INTELs not so new naming scheme? I cant make 1 bit of sense from it, it just leaves me mystified.

    I mean come on!! at least with AMD we knew the 3000+ meant somewhat-roughly-equivalent to a pentium of 3000mhz. gah!
    Reply
  • PrinceGaz - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Another point with Yonah is that it is intended to be a low-power consuming Mobile design, not desktop. Most laptop users have no need of a faster CPU but do want longer battery life / smaller lighter battery etc.

    Given that the whole design of the Pentium M chips (Banias -> Dothan -> Yonah) is about saving power by artificially limiting the maximum intended clock speed, it makes sense for Intel to make Yonah no faster than Dothan so that they can further reduce the power consumption of the processor at any given speed compared to what it would draw if the design could reach, say 2.5GHz.

    It doesn't seem at all surprising to me that Yonah will be little or no higher clocked than Dothan as there is little demand for the extra speed but plenty of demand for reduced power consumption.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    45 - Possibly, but as we indicated in the article, it's just a guess. As I understand it, Vanderpool (VT) isn't adding a lot to the die size - actually, it's been present since the Prescott 2M/Irwindale cores, but deactivated. I'm more inclined to believe that Intel is just trying to separate the market: charge more for VT enabled chips, as they will go to server/workstation systems which tend to cost more.
    -----------
    Regarding clock speed, while it's true that clockspeed isn't everything, we're essentially looking at a process shrink that isn't improving the top speed of CPUs at all. Yonah is pretty much Dothan (maybe) with dual cores. Banias topped out at 1.7 GHz, Dothan topped out at 2.26 (or will in a while), and Yonah is launching at 2.13 GHz max. It's surprising, that's all.

    While MHz/GHz are not everything, the basic fact remains that similar architectures running at the same clock speed will perform similarly. Dothan 2.13 GHz will match a single core Yonah 2.13 GHz barring any drastic changes to the underlying architecture. Merom is the next major change in the underlying architecture, so we'll have a CPU that may be as much as 50% faster at the same clock speed.

    Taking a more pragmatic look at the CPU environment, it's sort of interesting that the fastest (official) Northwood cores were 3.4 GHz and Prescott with 90nm and a longer pipeline only bumped that up 400 MHz. Willamette topped out at 2.4 GHz, so the 180nm to 130nm transition increased top CPU spped by 1000 MHz - 42% instead of only 12%!

    Think AMD's done much better? The fastest 130nm chips from AMD were the FX-55 (2.6 GHz) and right now it doesn't look like they'll release anything above 2.8 GHz with 90nm SOI! Even if we throw out the FX-55 (which is a bit of a special case, since it's the only 130nm AMD chip with strained silicon), AMD still only went up 400 MHz with the transition - 17%.

    The best we saw out of AMD/Intel for the transition to 90nm was a 33% speed bump from Banias to Dothan, but it sounds like that was also accompanies by a slightly longer pipeline.

    If we got as much as a 50% speed increase going from 180nm to 130nm, and only a 33% going from 130nm to 90nm (even with adding copper, SOI, and strained silicon), what will 65nm bring? A maximum of a 20% speed increase for the same design? Maybe even less? Time will tell, but I find it an interesting trend to say the least!
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    Yonah was the only thing worth looking at. This is certainly no 'offensive' by Intel. Reply
  • Pandaren - Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - link

    People keep shouting about 64-bits, but 64-bits won't make a difference to the vast majority of users. Most of the people I know who use computers surf the web, write email, print pictures, and other very basic tasks. In the corporate space, the transition to 64-bit will be glacial. The place I'm working at has used Windows 2000 for almost four years now and has no plans to change. They aren't the only ones:

    http://news.com.com/The+slow+road+to+Windows+XP/21...

    The only ones 64-bit will make a difference to are the very small percentage of people who actually need it, and the fanbois who buy the biggest for the sake of having the biggest.

    Reply

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