Intel has been offering its Atom line of processors for a while now. The CPUs are not known for raw performance, but they are cheap and offer reasonable battery life with netbook computers. Intel has announced a new generation Atom processor line today.
The new Atom platform requires significantly less power than previous generations of Atom processors and will let Intel enter into the smartphones and tablet PC market. These two product categories are where Intel has traditionally not been competitive because of the higher power needs of its platform. The new processors were formerly codenamed Moorestown.
“Intel has delivered its first product that is opening the door for Intel Architecture [IA] in the smartphone market segment," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group. "Through Moorestown, Intel is scaling the benefits of IA while significantly reducing the power, cost and footprint to better address handheld market segments. As a result of our efforts, the Intel Atom processor is pushing the boundaries of higher performance at significantly lower power to show what's possible as handheld devices become small, powerful mobile computers."
Along with the Moorestown parts aimed at smartphones and tablet, Intel is also showing off a new Atom Z6xx series of processors that were formerly known as the Lincroft SoC along with a new Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20 formerly known as Langwell. A new dedicated Mixed Signal IC is also being unveiled formerly known as Briertown. Intel now included the Atom Z6xx in the platform and the processor is built on the 45nm process and has 3D graphics, video encode, and video decode support along with memory and display controllers on a single SoC design.
Collectively, Intel claims that the new chips are able to deliver a 50 times reduction in idle power, 20 times reduction in audio power, and a 20 times reduction in power needs across browsing and video use. The power savings promises to let a mobile device last over ten days on standby, up to two days of audio playback, and four to five hours of web browsing and video playback per charge.
The platform also promises significantly higher performance and support for 1080p and 720p HD video. The Atom Z6xx family and Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20 are available today.