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Intel Debuts a Delayed Denverton

March 7, 2017

Author: David Kanter

Intel recently announced the Atom C3000 family, code-named Denverton, which packs up to 16 Goldmont CPU cores, two DDR4 memory channels, four 10GbE interfaces, 20 configurable I/O lanes, and optional compression and cryptographic acceleration. The new chips are sampling to embedded and server customers and will enter production in mid-2017, although the dual-core Atom C3338 is available already.

The C3000 succeeds the three-year-old Atom C2000, which included two product lines: Avoton for microservers and Rangeley for networking. The former line was a defensive move to stave off low-end ARM-based server processors, whereas the latter was an offensive move into the embedded market, especially storage and networking. Denverton was originally scheduled for late-2016 production, but it has incurred unexplained delays.

The Denverton SoC will reprise the C2000’s dual roles, albeit with an emphasis on the embedded market. On the server side, it competes only with low-performance ARM-based products such as X-Gene 2; the 8- and 16-core Xeon D processors offer much greater performance and flexibility. The Atom C3000 family will compete against ARM-compatible embedded processors, including NXP’s QorIQ line and Cavium’s Octeon TX. Overall, the Atom C3000 family will be a strong contender, but first, Intel must reach the finish line.

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