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2GHz Atom aims at handheld notebooks

Posted: 14 Apr 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Atom 2GHz? handheld notebook? processor?

Intel Corp. has unveiled at the Developers Forum in Beijing, China 2GHz versions of its Atom processor, targeting the parts at handheld Internet notebooks and mini laptops.

The Z550 is said to consume less than 3W of power and incorporates Intel's Hyper Threading technology to allow it to appear to the host OS as a pair of processors.

Meanwhile, the Z515 incorporates the latest Burst Performance Technology, which enables the processor to run at 1.2GHz when performance is needed in existing small and sleek MID form factors.

This technology seems to be an improved version of Intel's SpeedStep that drops the CPU frequency below peak when appropriate.

At the Beijing event, Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior VP and general manager of the ultra mobility group, also provided a sneak peek into the low-power innovation of the platform by showcasing a greater than 10x idle power reduction compared to today's Atom-based platform in a side-by-side demo. This reduction, he stressed, is made possible through a combination of novel power management techniques, a new partition optimized for the MID segments and the company's high-k 45nm manufacturing process.

Due by 2010, the Moorestown platform is composed of an SoC codenamed "Lincroft" that integrates a 45nm Intel Atom processor core, graphics, video and memory controller, and a companion I/O hub codenamed "Langwell."

The platform will be accompanied by a new Moblin software version that is optimized to enable the rich, interactive, PC-like Internet experience along with cellular voice capabilities.

Chandrasekher also described the next-generation processors for laptops based on the Nehalem architecture that will be available in the second half of this year on the "Calpella" platform. He said these processors will be more powerful than their predecessors by incorporating process such as Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost.

He also touched on Intel's ultralow-voltage processors and how they are creating a category of ultrathin laptops less than 1-inch thick. Intel is slated to offer lower-priced versions of these processors Q2 that are expected to engender a class of low-cost ultrathin laptops, which some have described as a MacBook Air for the masses.

Pat Gelsinger, Intel senior VP and general manager of the digital enterprise group, disclosed, for the first time, the Nehalem-EP based processor codenamed "Jasper Forest" that is targeted at embedded and storage applications.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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