Saturday, March 1, 2008

Intel's Centrino Atom Aims for New Mobile Internet Devices

Intel unveiled its new line of low-power "Atom" processors designed specifically for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and a new class of Internet-centric computers expected later this year. Intel sees these new market segments as significant new growth opportunities.

The Intel Atom processor features a new microarchitecture that maintains Intel Core 2 Duo instruction set compatibility and includes support for multiple threads. The chip measures less than 25 mm² and packs 47 million transistors, making it Intel's smallest and lowest power processor yet. These new chips, previously codenamed Silverthorne and Diamondville, will be manufactured on Intel's 45nm process with hi-k metal gate technology. Intel said new chips in this line have a thermal design power (TDP) specification in 0.6-2.5 watt range and scale to 1.8GHz speeds depending on customer need. By comparison, today's mainstream mobile Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP in the 35-watt range.

The Intel Centrino Atom processor, formerly codenamed "Menlow," includes the Intel Atom processor, a low-power companion chip with integrated graphics, a wireless radio, and thinner and lighter designs. Together, these components are designed to enable mobile computing.

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