Intel Atom Processor Announcements

Intel Centrino Atom logo This week is the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China. As per usual, Intel likes to make announcements at IDF. We’ve been hearing about the Intel Atom processor (code named Silverthorne) for a couple of months now and it appears that we’re finally getting the real details on the processor and the chipset package. Today Intel announced 5 Atom processor and 3 controller hubs to work with those processors.

The press announcement included the usual rhetoric  about “best Internet experience in your pocket” and then got to the details. The Atom processor will ship by itself under the Atom brand name as well as part of the Centrino Atom brand name. The Intel Centrino Atom includes the Atom processor plus a single-chip with integrated graphics called the Intel System Controller Hub (formerly codenamed Menlow).


Formerly codenamed “Menlow,” Intel Centrino Atom processor technology includes the company’s first-ever Intel Atom processor (formerly “Silverthorne”). The processor — Intel’s smallest and the world’s fastest chip under 3 watts — has a thermal design power range1 of 0.65 to 2.4 watts* (versus 35 watts for today’s typical laptop), average power range2 of 160-220 milliwatts (mW) and idle power range3 of 80-100mW.

These dramatic low-power levels are achieved as a result of several major processor design power management techniques such as Intel Deep Power Down Technology (C6), CMOS mode, and Split I/O power supply. When combined with Intel’s unique and reinvented 45nm high-k metal gate transistor formula, the chips are very energy efficient and smaller in size, and enable longer battery life and sleek designs.

The Intel Atom processor … will come in speeds up to 1.86 GHz, support Enhanced Intel SpeedStep ® technology, and select SKUs will support Intel Hyper-Threading technology. These capabilities make it the fastest processor in the sub-3 watt space, enabling a rich user experience with fast Web page downloads and support for the latest Web technologies such as Adobe Flash* and JavaScript*. The Intel ® System Controller Hub is a ground-up, highly integrated low-power solution that features advanced low-power 3-D graphics features, hardware accelerated 720p and 1080i HD video decode capabilities, Intel High Definition Audio, and a combination of PC and handheld I/O capabilities such as PCI Express*, USB Host and Client, and SDIO. Intel Centrino Atom processor technology also enables manufacturers to integrate a range of wireless connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, WiMAX and cellular data.

For those of us who really want to know the details, Intel has published a product brief on the Atom. There is also an Intel website devoted to MIDs.

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