Second Generation Intel Atom Unveiled

On Tuesday Intel unveiled its newest Intel Atom processor-based platform, formerly known as Moorestown. The Atom platform has been repartitioned into three groups which all significantly lower power.

Intel Atom Processor On Tuesday Intel unveiled its newest Intel Atom processor-based platform, formerly known as Moorestown.

The Atom platform has been repartitioned into three groups which all significantly lower power, which Intel says includes a more than 50x reduction in idle power, 20x reduction in audio power and 2x to 3x reductions across browsing and video scenarios.  The Intel Atom Processor Z6xx is a 45 nanometer core with 3-D graphics, video encode and decode an memory and display controllers, all in a single System-on-Chip (SoC) design.  The second group is the Controller Hub MP20 which supports a range of system-level functions and I/O blocks.  The third group is a dedicated Mixed Signal IC (MISC) which integrates power delivery and battery charging, and consolidates a range of analog and digital components. All three products are available immediately.

The 50x reduction in thermal power is a big jump for Intel, and the savings equates to more than 10 days of standby, up to 2 days of audio playback and 4-5 hours of browsing and video battery life.  At the platform level, Intel implemented a new, fine grain OS power management approach that manages the idle and active power states across all aspects of the system based on usage scenarios. This software-managed technique applies aggressive power and clock gating across the SoC's power islands and system voltage rails. The new chip also supports full HD 1080p high-profile video decoding and 720p HD video recording.

After catching up on the mobile tablet and smartphone market Intel is not resting.  The company is working on a future Atom platform, code-named Medfield, which will be described in more detail later in the year.  The new Atom chips will run the Moblin Linux version as well as MeeGo.  Intel and Nokia merged software platforms (Moblin and Maemo) into MeeGo last February.  With Intel highlighting the Aava Mobile Smartphone, the Atom will also run on Android.

TAGS: Intel
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