Intel this week formally launched its Atom C3000-series processors (formerly codenamed Denverton). The new chips are designed for inexpensive storage servers, NAS applications, as well as autonomous vehicles. The C3000 series features up to 16 low power x86 cores, integrated 10 GbE, rather rich I/O capabilities, as well as Intel’s Quick Assist technology.

Intel’s Atom C3000 processors are based on Intel's current-generation Goldmont Atom microarchitecture, with SKUs offering between 2 and 16 cores and clockspeeds up to 2.2 GHz. Being designed for primarily for NAS and servers, the Atom C3000 SoCs fully support Intel’s VT-d hardware virtualization, Quick Assist compression/encryption technology (up to 20 Gbps throughput) as well as up to 64 GB of single-channel DDR4-1866 or DDR3L-1600 ECC memory. When it comes to I/O, the Atom C3000 features a PCIe 3.0 x16 controller (with x2, x4 and x8 bifurcation), 16 SATA 3.0 ports, four 10 GbE controllers, and four USB 3.0 ports.

Due to its rich I/O capabilities, the Atom C3000 is aimed at a wide range of devices, including servers/NAS (which they were originally designed for) as well as emerging applications like IoT and autonomous vehicles. For example, PCIe 3.0 bus may be used to connect various controllers, sensors and co-processors (e.g., a GPU) to the SoC. Last year we examined one of the server-oriented C3000-based designs that is going to be one of the many devices featuring the new chips.

Intel will offer various versions of its Atom C3000 SoCs with different TDPs starting at 8.5 W. The chips will support extended temperature ranges for storage, industrial and autonomous driving environments. In addition, Intel says that the processors feature “automotive-grade safety and security features,” but does not elaborate (generally, ECC, Quick Assist, virtualization, etc. can be considered as safety and security features too).

So far, Intel has only announced one Atom C3000-series SoC: the Atom C3338, which has two cores running at 1.5 – 2.2 GHz, 4 MB cache, 10 PCIe 3.0 lanes, 10 SATA 3.0 ports, four Gigabit Ethernet ports and so on. The chip has 9 W TDP and costs $27 in commercial quantities and is expected to be available to Intel’s customers already this quarter.

Intel’s partners have been testing the Atom C3000 processors since at least early 2016. The chipmaker expects its allies to start launching actual products based on the chips by mid-2017. In addition to the SoCs themselves, Intel will also supply a data plane development kit (DPDK) as well as a storage performance development kit (SPDK) to assist its partners in development of networking and storage applications.

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Source: Intel

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  • Meteor2 - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link

    I find the pain is transcoding x265 to x264, because Chromecast only supports the latter. But selecting 'fast decode' when encoding to x265 fixed that for me.
  • mjeffer - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link

    Also, if you're only using one or two streams at a time, a Celeron/Pentium/i3 level Core processor should be more than enough rathar than having that beast wasted in a media server.
  • zepi - Monday, February 27, 2017 - link

    Saturating 10Gbe links is not easy. If this kind of box is used as a router / vpn brige whatnot, having multiple cores handling the multiple network interfaces is a good thing. I'd also guess there is HW-support in the CPU for SHA256 and maybe other algorithms as well.
  • lefty2 - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link

    I wonder what hidden flaw will surface 18 months later
  • Mr Perfect - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link


    Seriously though, did they say if the C3000 doesn't have the bug that killed the C2000?
  • DanNeely - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link

    Do the 10GbE ports need something else that is expensive to be used, or at $37 is this finally the chip that makes a consumer priced 10GbE router/switch possible?
  • A5 - Thursday, February 23, 2017 - link

    I would assume that a 10GbE PHY is still required, which probably costs more than this chip.
  • 10101010 - Friday, February 24, 2017 - link

    The $37 chip is the Atom C3338 and its integrated LAN is either 4x1 or 4x2.5 GbE. While not offering the speed of 10GbE, at least 2.5GbE is a big upgrade over 1GbE and has the potential to be quite cheap in comparison to the 10GbE.
  • iwod - Saturday, February 25, 2017 - link

    Where is all these $37 number coming from? The article state $27.
  • Vlad_Da_Great - Saturday, February 25, 2017 - link

    It comes from the initial scalping.

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