At the CeBIT show, Intel unveiled an Atom platform aimed at storage devices for small offices and homes. The new platform is the latest push by Intel to expand the reach of the Atom chip, which was initially intended for netbooks but now is finding its way into entry-level desktops, mainstream notebooks and embedded devices.
Intel is continuing to push its Atom chip platform, initially designed for
netbooks, into new areas, the latest being storage.
At the CeBIT show held in Hannover,
Germany, Intel on March 4
unveiled an Atom-based platform designed for networked storage devices used in
smaller business offices, home offices and residences.
The platform, which Intel officials touted for its energy
efficiency, includes a single-core Atom D410 or dual-core D510, along with
Intel's 828011R I/O controller. Intel sees it being used for NAS
(network-attached storage) devices that can act as centralized hubs enabling
users to organize, manage and share documents, photos, videos and music
throughout the home or small office.
Intel said the new chips consume up to 50 percent less power
than current Atom chips, and offer better performance.
"NAS systems have traditionally been found in businesses
[being used] to manage, store and access data," Seth Bobroff, general
manager of Intel's Data Center Group, Storage, said in a statement.
"Today, households and small offices have an ever-increasing number of
computers, laptops, netbooks and mobile phones that create and consume digital
With the growth of mobile technology and of data and media
generation, there is an increasing need for NAS devices for small offices and
homes, according to Bobroff.
A number of manufacturers are developing devices to use the new
Atom platform, Intel officials said. Among those are LaCie, LG Electronics,
QNAP Systems, Synology and Thecus.
Intel is looking to expand the reach of its Atom products,
which the chip maker first unveiled in June 2008 for netbooks. Since then,
Intel has been pushing the chips into such areas as the embedded space, more
mainstream notebooks and entry-level
desktops, and, now, storage.
At the Intel Developer Forum in September 2009, officials also
unveiled an Atom
Developer Program designed to entice ISVs and programmers to create
applications and components based on the platform. Intel released a beta of the
program's SDK (software development kit) in December. The Atom SDK can be downloaded here.
chip has been a key driver in the recovery of the processor market,
according to analysts. In January, IDC
reported that shipments of mobile chips grew 11.7 percent in the fourth quarter
of 2009 over the previous quarter, thanks in large part to Atom.
ABI Research has predicted
that Atom shipments will grow into the hundreds of millions by 2011.
Intel is working to keep that rolling along. The chip maker
March 1 rolled out the Atom chip, the N470,
which is faster than the current N450. In addition, there reportedly were
some devices being shown at CeBIT that sported the next round of Atom
processors, the N455 and N475.
Intel officials at CeBIT also announced embedded versions of
the D410 and D510 as well as the N450 chip. The chips are designed with a
seven-year life cycle and are designed for smaller, energy-efficient devices in
such areas as print imaging, digital security and industrial markets, according
All three are used with Intel's 82801HM I/O controller.
Combined, the technology offers a two-chip combination promising I/O
flexibility through such high-bandwidth interfaces as PCI Express, PCI, SATA (Serial
ATA) and USB 2.0.