Mobile processors shipping this year use less than a tenth of the power of Core 2 Duos
Intel has revealed a few more details of low-drain processors due for release this year – and announced that they are to be branded Atom.
The processors, which use an architecture completely revamped for efficiency, are designed for PDA-sized Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and what Intel calls a new class of affordable, infocentric mobile computers Intel is calling netbooks.
These are far from a new idea. Acorn and NatSemi were making what were called
webpads more than a decade ago, and recently the Asus EEE PC has demonstrated a
market for the format.
Intel envisages a desktop versions called thge Nettop.
The new portable platform codenamed Menlow will be branded Centrino Atom, a term that embraces the peripheral chips as well as the processor.
The chips will use the Core 2 Duo instruction set, and will clock up to 1.8GHz. The breakthrough is that they have a thermal design power (TDP) of between 0.6-2.5 watts – that is the power drawn when the processor is run flat out. Mainstream Core 2 duo notebooks have a TDP of 35 watts.
The new 45nm-scale chips, previously codenamed Silverthorne and Diamondville, measure just 25 square millimeters and use hi-k metal gate technology.
Intel chief sales and marketing officer Sean Maloney said: "This small wonder is a fundamental new shift in design, small yet powerful enough to enable a big Internet experience on these new devices. We believe it will unleash new innovation across the industry."
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