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What is Braswell Processor?
The term Braswell signifies the name given to the multi-core System on a Chip (SoC) designed by Intel. These are supposed to be the next generation SoCs built on Airmont microarchitecture with industry-leading tri-gate transistors.
Technically, these processors are built on the 14 nm manufacturing process and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS technology. These chips support the x86-64 Instruction Set Architecture and 64-bit word size.
- Braswell processors are multi-core SoCs designed by Intel on the Airmont microarchitecture.
- These next generation CPUs were designed and first launched by Intel in March 2015, though they were announced a couple of years earlier, in August 2013.
- These chips are manufactured on a 14 nm process using CMOS technology and come with tri-gate transistors.
- The clock speed ranges between 1040 MHz and 1600 MHz of these chips, which support a 64-bit word size in the x86-64 Instruction Set Architecture.
- The Braswell processors are energy efficient and offer a relatively powerful performance when dealing with embedded Linux applications and complex Windows IoT programs.
Understanding Braswell Processor
The term Braswell is usually the name of the cores of the System on a Chip designed by Intel that were released on March 2015 as the successor to the 22 nm Bay Trail D, Bay Trail I, and Bay Trail M.
Therefore, the Braswell chips are considered to be the die-shrink of Bay Trail CPUs.
The Braswell chips are designed to be used in a diverse range of systems such as:
- The low-end desktop computer systems
- The entry level tablets
- The nettops
- The netbooks
- Different ultra-mobile systems
- The embedded systems
These specific chips are designed on the Airmont microarchitecture and a tri-gate 14 nm manufacturing process.
The improved features and functionalities inside the Braswell chips offer quite high performance overall.
The most significant aspect of these chips is their ability to offer high performance within a specific power envelope. It is due to the specific capabilities of it, which include:
- Increased efficiency
- Low power consumption due to lower Thermal Design Power or TDP
- Better thermal management
With a core configuration of 2 to 4, the most notable improvement in the design of the Braswell processors is the addition of Gen 8 graphics support.
Here are a few facts regarding the physical and technical aspects of the Braswell CPUs:
- Instruction Set Architecture or ISA support – x86-64
- Word size – 64 bits
- Base clock frequency range – 1.04 GHz to 1.60 GHz
- Burst clock frequency range – 2.08 GHz to 2.64 GHz
- Memory support – Up to 8 GB of DDR3L-1600
- Graphics processing support – 8th generation LP Graphics Processing Unit
- GPU base frequency range – 320 MHz to 400 MHz
- GPU burst frequency range – 600 MHz to 740 MHz
- GPU execution units – 12 or 16
Brands and features
There is also an Atom x5 variant that is designed for use in embedded systems. Each of these brands comes with varying features.
For example, the significant features of the Pentium processors are as follows:
- Four cores
- 1.6 GHz operating frequency
- 2 MB Level 2 cache
- No Level 3 cache
- 64-bit word size
- Integrated HD graphics 405 for the desktop and mobile variants and Braswell HD graphics for mobile processors
- Base and boost GPU frequency ranges for the desktop variants are 400 MHz to 740 MHz and for mobile SoCs it is between 400 MHz and 700 MHz
- TDP of 6.5 watts for desktop and 6 watts for mobile processors with 4 watts SDP or Scenario Design Point
- Integrated chipset
- AES, SSSE3, and SSE4 instructions support
- Virtualization support
- Turbo boost feature
- Ultra low power
- 1-way processing
As for the Celeron processors, the features are as follows:
- 2 or 4 cores
- Operating frequency of 1.6 GHz for desktop processors
- Base and boost operating frequency ranges between 1040 MHz and 1600 MHz for mobile SoC variants
- Integrated HD graphics processor 400 in both mobile and desktop processors with a base and boost frequency ranging between 320 MHz and 700 MHz for desktops and 320 MHz and 640 MHz for mobile SoCs
- Integrated Braswell HD graphics processor with a base and burst operating frequency ranging between 320 MHz and 640 MHz for mobile SoCs
- TDP of 6 watts for desktop processors and between 4 watts and 6 watts for mobile SoCs, with SDP ranging between 3 watts and 4 watts
And, as for the Atom x5 processors used in the embedded systems, the specific features include the following:
- Four cores
- TDP of 5 watts
- Base and boost operation frequencies range between 1040 MHz and 2000 MHz
- Integrated HD (Braswell) graphics processor
- Base GPU frequency of 320 MHz
- Maximum memory support of up to 8 GB
Braswell vs Haswell
- The Braswell is a relatively newer technology in comparison to the Haswell, having a release date almost a couple of years later than the latter.
- The manufacturing process of the Braswell processors is 14 nm, but in comparison, the Haswell processors are built on a 22 nm manufacturing process.
- The core configuration of the Braswell processors is usually 2 or 4, but in comparison, the range of core configurations of the Haswell processors is much wider, typically ranging between 2 and 18.
- The Braswell processors support instruction sets such as AES and different extensions of Streaming SIMD Extensions. On the other hand, the Haswell processors follow a wide range of instruction sets and their extensions over and above these.
- The predecessor of Braswell processors is Bay Trail, while, on the other hand, the predecessor of Haswell processors is Ivy Bridge processors.
- The successor of the Braswell processors is Apollo Lake, but the successor of the Haswell processor is Broadwell.
The Braswell processors are a worthy successor to Bay Trail in terms of power consumption and performance delivery.
With its improved features and functionalities than its predecessors, it serves the purpose of low-end desktop, mobile and embedded systems quite well with a significant battery bump.