Intel Atom Processors for Mobile Internet Devices and Embedded Computing

Intel Corporation recently introduced five new Intel Atom processors and Intel Centrino Atom processor technology for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and embedded computing solutions. The technology package includes the Intel Atom processor plus a single-chip with integrated graphics called the Intel System Controller Hub that enables PC-like capabilities and long battery life in smaller devices that can fit in a pocket. Manufacturers around the world are planning to ship Intel-based MIDs beginning this summer.

MIDs are truly mobile devices that enable Internet experience in pocketable devices. MIDs will allow consumers to communicate, entertain, access information and be productive on-the-go, and are expected to represent a new class of next-generation, Internet-based portable video players, navigation devices, converged tablets and other consumer products.

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 range of 0.65 to 2.4 watts (versus 35 watts for today’s typical laptop), average power range of 160-220 milliwatts (mW), and idle power range of 80-100mW.

The 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.

The technical features of the Intel Atom processor and Intel System Controller Hub will help to create an array of MIDs that offer a range of functions and variety of pocketable devices. The processors are also designed for fanless, small form factor devices for embedded applications such as in-vehicle infotainment systems, portable point-of-sale devices for retail and more rugged computing devices such as robotics for industrial manufacturing. For embedded applications, Intel will include longer 7-year life cycle support.

More info: Intel