Intel Evo platform: strict standards, giving you a better mobile PC experience
It has been 8 months since the launch of the Intel Evo platform from September last year to now. According to the latest official news from Intel, there are currently 75 laptops that have passed the Intel Evo platform certification on the market, and the development speed is still very fast.
Such a small achievement on the Intel Evo platform is inseparable from Intel’s vigorous promotion, and it is also inseparable from the strong support of millions of partners in the industry chain. At the recent 2021 Spring Intel Evo Platform Media Sharing Conference, Intel not only introduced the stringent standards of Intel’s Evo platform, but also specially invited two partners, Lianyang Semiconductor and Qianhai Shenlei, to the participating media We shared some behind-the-scenes stories of the Intel Evo platform, and interested friends can find out.
Work together to build an excellent Intel Evo platform!
With the advancement of the Athena Project, the Intel Evo platform can lead the entire PC industry to bring the most fashionable and ultimate product design through the establishment of very strict high indicators. Through deep-level cooperation, such as design and ecological chain system empowerment, Intel enables the entire product presented to our customers to achieve various quality indicators, performance indicators, and even to the extreme degree, so as to achieve the highest quality The products are displayed in the market and provided to our customers. This is a state and a state that the Intel Evo platform ultimately wants to achieve.
In addition to the design and testing process of the Intel Evo platform, there is a demonstration process at the end. There are several components in this Evo argumentation process. Intel’s Athena plan made various specifications in the early stage; after the specifications are formulated, it will communicate with all partners and conduct his product evaluation together; Intel’s partners have participated in all these early stages. After working and understanding these specifications of the Athena Project, you can make your own product plan and submit the indicators and product types of the products he wants to participate in the Athena Project.
When Intel receives these applications submitted by him, Intel will organize relevant departments to do corresponding technical evaluations, and we will do corresponding screening work in accordance with the specifications of the Athena Project. After screening, his application for submission will appear in the list of Athena Project. After entering our plan, we actually divide the work into two major categories. On the one hand, we will do the research and development of the whole machine, and we will do in-depth cooperation with our customers in all aspects, and the research and development of the whole machine. Before the end of the research and development, when doing real testing, it will experience a variety of problems, so we will do technical analysis, various experiments, if you need to debug, we will do debugging. After solving all these problems, we will have an overall tuning process, and then we will do real testing.
At the same time, in order for the design of the whole machine to meet the requirements of our performance indicators, Intel cannot do without the development of software and hardware components, which requires in-depth research and development of components with our component partners. At the same time, in their research and development process, Intel will also do various cooperation, including Intel global, whether it is in our mainland China, or in Taiwan, and in the US headquarters, we have set up open laboratories, These laboratories provide us with platforms, processes, and mechanisms, so that we can see the problems of various devices. We can do all kinds of experiments. Through various tasks in the laboratory, we can solve the problem of hardware first If there is software, the software is the first and the hardware is the latter, which is the problem of chicken laying eggs and eggs laying chickens.
When all the processes of Intel’s component development are completed, our components will also be sent to the corresponding department for testing. So our two legs walk in parallel. On the one hand, we do component-level R&D and testing with the ecological chain system, so that it can also be prepared in advance, and let our customers of the whole machine do the research and development and testing of the whole product; on the other hand, On the other hand, after all these preparations are done, after the product development and testing of OEM and ODM complete machine development partners, it will go to the last round of product certification testing. If this product passes through this series of links, it Can pass the test of various certification indicators, then Intel will issue the corresponding certification certificate. These are the most important parts of our Evo certification process.
Intel Evo platform certification has a high elimination rate, just to ensure the presentation of high-quality mobile PCs!
In order to further explain how we empower our partners in the ecological chain system, let’s take a simple example to look at it. This is like a funnelized process. Intel involves various types and hundreds of different components. It may not be mentioned all of them. But taking the display as an example, it is a single component. In the industry There are more than ten different display suppliers. Then the various indicators of different displays are different, whether it is resolution, brightness, color gamut, color depth, or the level of functionality it can achieve… these are all It is a single indicator for the display. We use these individual indicators to evaluate, evaluate and screen based on its characteristics according to the standards of our Evo platform and the pre-specified specifications.
The following table is to give you a general idea. Why is it a funnel-shaped choice? Intel can do theoretical analysis only based on the specifications of the display itself, and in fact, in accordance with the specifications of the Athena Project. And sifted out.
First of all, through the specification submitted by itself, we can see that the elimination rate is basically around 18%. So when its specifications and so on are in line with the standard, we will do some special measured actions, such as the optical characteristics of the various items just introduced, the characteristics of its own power consumption, and so on. Through these special tests, it can be seen that there is probably another 20%-25% probability of being eliminated again. So we make a simple calculation, through our own screening, the developer of the whole machine will apply the display screen before the design of the whole machine, and there is about half the probability of being eliminated. After a single screening, it depends on the final performance and effect shown in the whole machine. We want to use this simple example to introduce how the whole Evo certification process is synchronized with each other through the whole machine and parts, so that the entire ecological chain system is fully operational, to support the design and design of the whole machine developer’s product. The process of the final Evo platform demonstration.
In the process of cooperation and research and development with the ecological chain system, in terms of the total order of magnitude and the number of individual software and hardware components, Intel has probably increased exponentially. From 2019 as a base figure, it will probably nearly double in 2020. Doubled, which is 200% of 2019. Judging from the current situation in 2021, our plan can be increased by 100%, which is three times that of 2019. With the evolution of the target specifications of the Athena Project, the types of hardware and software components are also expanding year by year. Compared with 2019, we will actually double in 2020. These types of memory, displays, storage units, audio decoders, embedded control devices, etc. are a series, and the types are increasing.
With the continuous advancement of the Athena Project, Intel is also constantly introducing more components and more types into the ecosystem, to broadly support our most extreme and high-quality Athena Project products, and finally to Market and lead the fashionable development of the entire PC industry.
Lianyang Semiconductor: Provide excellent keyboard controller
Lianyang Semiconductor has been established for nearly 25 years and is a professional chip design company. It is mainly the embedded controller on the notebook, which is also called the keyboard controller in the industry. In 2020, Lianyang Semiconductor’s global market share will reach 50%. In fact, there are already more than 100 Million shipments.
What is called an embedded controller, some people call it a keyboard controller. As the name suggests, Lianyang Semiconductor is connected to my EC product through eSPI or LPC under Intel SoC. There is an Internal Cable in the upper right corner. The EC of Lianyang Semiconductor controls a laptop. All keyboards and Touch Keys on it are controlled by EC. All keyboards in the keyboard controller control are also controlled by EC. There are also touch panels, timing diagrams on the system, power management, and the fan control just mentioned. If the temperature on the CPU or the system is higher, the speed of the fan is changed by the keyboard controller. control. In addition, on a laptop, the battery status is 25%, 50%, 75%, or 100% of full load, which is also reported by the EC of the keyboard controller. There are also various sensors, DCI and so on. Therefore, the keyboard controller EC looks small, and there are quite a lot of devices controlled. It can be seen that if the GPU in a system is a large core, the keyboard controller is equivalent to a small one hanging below the CPU. Core, a small control processor.
In the part of the Athena project, Intel’s open laboratory has given great assistance, such as assuming the RVP environment, OS environment inspection, and testing under the OS. If problems are encountered, engineers will not tire of helping Lianyang Semiconductor to assist in processing.
Nowadays, Lenovo, HP, ASUS, Acer, and Xiaomi in China are all key customers of Lianyang Semiconductor. Cooperating with Intel, whether it is in Shanghai or Taipei, the Open Lab provides a two-way platform. Some OEMs or brands have some ideas that can be verified in the experiment, and everyone can discuss together to realize whether the methods of both parties are feasible. .
Of course, after the brand, ODM manufacturers will also conduct component evaluation and development plans with us. Because the open laboratory itself is a consulting and communication platform, its main purpose is to promote notebook optimization and reduce costs. The solutions that originally appeared in high-end notebooks will gradually be cost-effective with continuous research and development and continuous optimization. The lowering of the value is acceptable to many ordinary people. Therefore, the Athena Project is a very attractive and good environment for manufacturers. Due to the continuous optimization of low power consumption between Intel and OEM or ODM, currently 9 products of Unisun have passed the verification. Unisun has optimized each circuit. After hundreds of laboratory tests, we have found out For the best working mode, of course, these source codes must be repaired. Under the current standard, Lianyang Semiconductor can be adjusted to a minimum of about 3.6mW. Of course, the industry average is 4.8mW. Taking Lenovo’s C940 as an example, Lianyang Semiconductor worked with more than 20 Intel experts and Lenovo’s friends to optimize the whole machine, and finally achieved a battery life of up to 13 hours. So this is a win-win situation for the entire team, the open laboratory, and the brand.
Qianhai Shenlei: Provide high-quality audio chips
Shenlei Semiconductor is a chip design company, which is mainly used in the sound cards of various PC products such as desktops, notebooks, and tablets. In the global PC audio codec chip market, Shen Lei is considered the top three in the world.
In order to quickly respond to customer needs, Shenlei Semiconductor has spent millions to establish failure analysis and application laboratories. Generally, chip design companies in the industry usually outsource chip failure analysis, and it takes at least one to two weeks to pass the outsourcing company. It takes even longer to report the problem. By establishing our own failure analysis laboratory in Shanghai, if it is not a complicated problem, we can generally locate the problem for the customer within a day or two, and give the customer better support.
In addition, Shen Lei Semiconductor has also set up an application laboratory, because in the PC market, customers have more and more customized needs. If customers have any new needs, especially some high-end PCs have some special requirements, we will Quickly verify their needs here and provide solutions. The first step is to do this. Later we will continue to expand the various capabilities of this laboratory, such as building our own silent room to support various audio performance tests and interoperability tests. Intel has also been promoting recently. Shenlei Semiconductor has introduced some artificial intelligence suppliers in APO noise reduction software, their software suppliers, but they have added AI algorithms, such as some companies in Shenzhen or Beijing in China, and Shenlei Semiconductor also Talking to and communicating with them. In this area in the future, we will provide a better overall solution and provide more interoperability tests, which can help the entire ecosystem. This is the specific project situation and progress of our cooperation with the Intel Evo platform.
How does Shenlei bring a better experience to customers on the Intel Evo platform, how to polish our excellent hardware products with Intel to meet Intel’s stringent certification requirements, and finally how to provide customers with the best Evo platform experience.
Shenlei Semiconductor’s high-performance products. For CX11880/11970, these two products are our audio codec chips. The most important parameters are digital-to-analog conversion signal-to-noise ratio and analog-to-digital conversion signal-to-noise ratio. Our products will The efficiency is 6% higher than other products. The conversion of analog to digital is also one of the very important indicators. Our effect can be seen by everyone. The digital display is higher than 11%. Of course, the speaker driver in the notebook is very important. As you can see in the lower left corner, the driver ability of Sunray Semiconductor is far beyond the chips provided by customers in other markets. Our chip can reach 2.8W, while other chips only have 2.2W. The power consumption of the chip is also one of the very important indicators. When the earphone outputs 1 milliwatt, the lower the power consumption of the chip, the better the performance of the chip.
Write at the end
Intel and the tens of thousands of partners in the industry chain have jointly achieved the Intel Evo platform and jointly achieved a better mobile PC experience. To put it simply, if you see a mobile PC with the “Intel Evo Platform Certification” brand sticker, you can buy it with confidence. It represents the high-end, and it means that this mobile PC has today’s super-class performance. It is Intel for the consumer The productivity tools carefully selected by the readers.
The Intel Evo platform is like a five-star hotel. Only hotels that meet stringent requirements in many respects can be rated as five-star hotels and can provide consumers with a high-quality experience. In the same way, only mobile PCs that meet stringent requirements in many aspects can be rated as Intel Evo platforms.
For the significance of the Intel Evo platform, the author believes that there are two main aspects. First, it is convenient for consumers to choose high-quality mobile PCs. Some particularly expensive laptops are not necessarily easy to use, but laptops certified by the Intel Evo platform must have better performance. Second, Intel, as a leader in the PC industry, has pointed out development goals for partners in the industry chain.
Work together to do great things! Although the standards of the Intel Evo platform are very strict, there is no problem that cannot be overcome with the joint efforts of Intel and thousands of partners!