Also on the list of Intel announcements today is that Cherry Trail, the next generation Atom architecture, is shipping to customers. For end-users, this means a realistic time frame of Q2 when products will be on the shelves. Cherry Trail is the successor to Bay Trail on the smaller process node, while offering improved graphics and battery life, similar to the claims made by Broadwell-U earlier today.

Given that Intel’s press release today was short and mentioned connectivity with their XMM726x modem with Cat 6 LTE with aggregation, it sounds specifically that Cherry Trail for smartphones/tablets is the order of the day, rather than larger or desktop systems. Cherry Trail will also be a focus point for Intel’s RealSense technology, with Intel wanting to promote their ‘no wires, no password’ philosophy.

Rather than provide more detail about SKUs and price points, Intel is allowing their customers to announce the products that will be featuring the SoC, with a larger update of specifications to follow. We’ve heard talk of Cherry Trail products that might be announced at CES, and if we catch any we will let you know.

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  • blaktron - Monday, January 5, 2015 - link

    From what I gather, they are claiming WAY higher gains than Haswell-Broadwell. Aren't they saying there will be 16 EUs from 4 EUs in Bay Trail? Of a higher Gen part? Isn't that a 400% performance increase claim, without some funny business going on?
  • Thorburn - Monday, January 5, 2015 - link

    Increasing unit count doesn't necessarily mean a corresponding increasing performance count - you're always bound by the available power budget, as well as other factors such as internal cache structures, etc.

    Take HD 4400 vs. HD 5000 in Haswell - both share a 15W TDP but HD 5000 has double the number of EU's and other units, yet typically offers lower performance than HD 4400 as their usage is limited by the power budget.

    Promisingly though if you compare Atom and Pentium Bay Trail products the lack of GPU resources means the higher TDP Pentium parts will rarely use much more power than the Atom parts and only offer a very small increase in performance, so perhaps Cherry Trail/Braswell will have a bit more scaling in the higher TDP parts...
  • nwarawa - Monday, January 5, 2015 - link

    Interesting thought. Baytrail already uses the vast majority of it's TDP for its GPU. 7.5W for that much more performance, even with the die shrink, doesn't seem enough.
  • Samus - Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - link

    That's true. Odds are the EU count is increased and the frequency is decreased, especially being a new process node and ultra-mobile part. I doubt the GPU is much faster than Bay Trail.
  • StevoLincolnite - Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - link

    It's a balancing act.
    Ultimately it comes down to performance per watt, one method may be better than the other depending on the particular process node. (They all have differing power characteristics.)

    For instance driving millions more transisters for more EU's at a lower clock may result in less power consumption than less EU's at a higher clock, whilst on a prior node that could have been in reverse.
  • Thorburn - Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - link

    HD 5300 at 4.5W is slower than HD 4200 at 10.5W, so yes I wouldn't get my hopes too high.
  • aratosm - Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - link

    Macbook airs have better graphics performance with HD5000 then HD4400 ultrabooks. Wish more ultrabooks came with HD5000. But you're right about the power envelope. HD5000 in 15W parts trottles sooner then HD5100 in 22W. My biggest question is, does the eDRAM use a lot of power. I don't understand why they decided to only offer eDRAM in the high power chips. The only downside with graphics in a HD5100 is the lack of bandwidth which the eDRAM addressed. Hopefully by Skylake they will offer eDRAM at a lower power envelop.
  • Thorburn - Monday, January 12, 2015 - link

    "Macbook airs have better graphics performance with HD5000 then HD4400 ultrabooks. Wish more ultrabooks came with HD5000."

    Actually from personal testing experience, it doesn't. HD 4400 will outperform HD 5000 in the vast majority of workloads. Iris 5100 is not wholly bandwidth limited either - there is still a degree of TDP limitation even at 28W.
  • nwarawa - Monday, January 5, 2015 - link

    I noticed the same thing in my comment on the Broadwell story. This could be the first time an Atom has a better GPU than its mainstream contemporary. I'm also curious to be how the CPU improvements pan out and any clock increases, since the cheapest Broadwell Celeron is staying at 1.5GHz
  • MrSpadge - Monday, January 5, 2015 - link

    *Trail GPUs typically run at significnatly lower clock speeds than in desktop CPUs.. and I guess also less than in entry level mobile CPUs. Sure, the fastest mobile CPUs with many GPU shaders run into power limits, but the smaller ones should clock happily.

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