Intel brands the Atom

It is goodbye Silverthorne and Diamondville, and hello Atom. This is the brand name chosen by Intel for its previously codenamed family of low-power processors.

According to Intel, Atom processors are designed specifically for both mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and a new class of simple “Internet-centric computers arriving later this year”.

While maintaining instruction set compatibility with the Core 2 Duo, the Atom is based on a new microarchitecture optimised explicitly for small devices and low power requirements.

Manufactured on a 45nm process, with hi-k metal gate technology, Intel states the chips have a thermal design power (TDP) specification in the 0.6-2.5 watt range, which compares with a TDP in the 35-watt range for current mobile Core 2 Duo processors. In terms of clock speeds, the new chips will run at up to 1.8GHz.

Note that there will also be a Centrino Atom processor brand for MID platforms – formerly codenamed Menlow – made up of multiple chips to support Net access in a “pocketable device,” to use Intel’s term.

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“This is our smallest processor built with the world’s smallest transistors,” said Intel executive VP and chief sales and marketing officer, Sean Maloney. “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.”

You can read the full Intel Atom announcement here.

Tags: atom, low power, MIDs, processors

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