Intel Atom

March 4, 2008

atom_rgb_78.gifIntel announced the Atom, a milliwatt x86 CPU that was mentioned here just about a year ago.

These new chips, previously codenamed Silverthorne and Diamondville, will be manufactured on Intel’s industry-leading 45nm process with hi-k metal gate technology. The chips 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.

I find it interesting that the press release does not even mention the word “phone”. I’m guessing this means that the new Atom chips are not low powered enough for smart phones like the iPhone.

Regardless, it looks like we are reaching an important milestone… the x86 architecture applied to the mobile and embedded space on a large scale.