The new Intel® Braswell architecture

The new Braswell architecture CPUs bring greater CPU and Graphics performance over the previous generation entry-level CPUs from Intel while offering lower consumption and lower TDP. The four new CPUs unveiled by Intel include the Celeron N3000, N3050, N3150, and the Pentium N3700. All four are 14nm chips and feature Airmont processing cores. Braswell series have the same CPUs and GPUs as the Cherry Hill Atoms, but they come with a few extra features necessary for mainstream PCs-for Bay Trail chips this included SATA ports and higher RAM limits. SoC in portable and embedded systems will have more room to stretch their legs than they would in, and higher TDP levels will let them run at their maximum rated frequencies for longer periods of time.

Braswell Hardware Block Diagram

Braswell brings More performance

Of the four Braswell chips come up today, three are Celerons. The Celeron N3000 is a 1.04GHz (2.08GHz Turbo) dual-core CPU with 1MB of L2 cache and a 4W TDP. The N3050 bumps the TDP to 6W and the clock speed to 1.6GHz (2.16GHz Turbo). The Celeron N3150 is a 1.6GHz (2.08GHz Turbo) quadcore CPU with 2MB of L2 cache and a 6W TDP. And, finally, the Pentium N3700 is a 1.6GHz (2.4GHz Turbo) quad-core CPU with 2MB of L2 cache and a 6W TDP.

All chips support up to 1600MHz DDR3L RAM, where Bay Trail- D processors were limited to either 1066MHz or 1333MHz speeds. More memory bandwidth is good for general system performance, but it's especially good for integrated graphics performance. The integrated GPUs on the two slower Celerons are capped at 600MHz, while the quad-core Celeron and Pentium GPUs are clocked at 640 and 700MHz, respectively.

Enough with the similarities and moving on to the GPU, where it gets interesting. The Pentium N3700 uses the same 8th generation Intel HD Graphics as its other siblings, but carries more powerful graphics core due to its operating frequency. The normal operating frequency of the GPU is 400MHz making it 100MHz faster even than the Intel HD Graphics 5500 found in the higher-end Broadwell CPUs. The maximum operating frequency goes up to 700MHz, but there's another significant limitation and that's the number of EU (Execution Units).

Intel HD Graphics 5500 holds 24 EUs, while the Braswell CPUs uses 16 EUs integrated with the same architecture, as Intel likes to standardize its graphics units between Core and Atom products. Simply put, we can still expect big improvement in the graphics department, but let's not keep our hopes high. You can see the design of the graphics processor in the image below, but keep in mind that this is true for the Core M implementation, but the Braswell equivalent won't differ much as only the EUs will be 16, not 24.

As mentioned above, the new Braswell CPUs will support 2-channel memory up to 8GB of DDR3(L)-1600MHz. The PCI Express revision is 2.0 and other interesting features are the support of Virtualization and Burst Performance technologies. To take one step further, Intel has implemented support for DirectX 12 and Open GL 4.2 if you are running Windows 10. It can also support 4K resolution and up three external displays, while internally, the platform will handle eDP 1.4 up to 2650 x 1440. The external monitors can be connected via HDMI or Display Port. And the best part is that Braswell chips can run on Android, Chrome, Linux and Windows platforms, but on the other hand, this is a necessity as Intel is struggling on the mobile market and it will need all the extra CPUs to turn things around.

This is similar to elements of both the Bay Trail-M (Mobile) the Bay Trail-D (Desktop) product line, which would perhaps mean that youwould see both inside mini-PCs as well as some embedded designs, such as rugged tablet and compact module. In the current Braswell list there are two dual core models and two quad core models in Braswell series, there are four in total with three Celeron and one Pentium.

The Braswell Lineup




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