The chip maker will debut the first of its Atom processors for mobile Internet devices at its 2008 Developer Forum in China.
Intel is thinking small at its 2008 Intel Developer Forum in China.
spring IDF, which kicks off April 2 in Shanghai,
will mark the debut of the
chip maker's much talked about Atom processor-formerly called Silverthorne-for
a new category of MIDs (mobile Internet devices) that Intel and its OEM
partners have been developing for the past year.
As reflected in their name, the Atom chips only measure 25 square
At the show, Intel will show off the first of five new Atom
which are based on Intel Architecture
and will range in clock speed from
800MHz at the low end to 1.86GHz at the high end. These single-core chips are
based on the company's 45-nanometer manufacturing process and contain 512KB of
Level 2 cache.
In order to work within a small device, Intel developed the Atom chips with
a TDP-an internal Intel term that measures
the total amount of heat a chip has to dissipate-of between 2.4 and 0.65 watts.
By using low-watt processors, Intel is giving up some performance but also
hoping to offer between 4 to 6 hours of battery life with the first generation
of MIDs, said Anand Chandrasekhar, senior vice president of Intel's Ultra
The Santa Clara, Calif.,
company will also show off a new chip set with these devices called the SCH
(System Controller Hub). Formally called Poulsbo, the SCH
will support both Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems and will support
between 512MB and 1GB of DDR2 (double data
rate 2) RAM.
Together, the processors and chips sets form the base for the Centrino Atom
Intel is placing a huge bet that its new processor and platform will open up
what CEO Paul Otellini has
called a $10 billion market for the new mobile devices.
While the Atom processors
are designed for these portable Internet machines, Intel is developing a
different class of similar chips for low-cost
(Intel plans to demonstrate two conceptual "netbooks" that use
these chips at IDF.)
So far, the chip maker has 25 OEM partners that will deliver 35 different
MID designs. Several of these first-generation MIDs will hit the streets by the
second quarter of 2008, mostly in China,
Japan and South
Korea, with a starting price of about $500.
The U.S. and
European markets will likely follow later.