Intel Touts Big Internet on Small Devices

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2008-04-02 Print this article Print

Its small but powerful Atom processor appears in a host of pocket-size mobile Internet devices on display at IDF.

Intel unveiled five new Atom processors at the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai, China, on April 2, while OEMs pulled out a host of pocket-size mobile Internet devices that will feed off the small, energy-efficient, low-cost but powerful chips.

Intel's Atom processor, formerly code-named Silverthorne, will come in speeds up to 1.86GHz and will support Enhanced Intel SpeedStep technology. Some versions will support Intel Hyper-Threading. That will all add up to what Intel claims will be the fastest processor in the sub-3 watt space, enabling fast Web page downloads and support for Web technologies such as Flash and JavaScript.

The single-chip design of Atom integrates graphics into what Intel calls its System Controller Hub, giving the devices run by the processor PC-like capabilities, long battery life and what Intel is promising will be an "uncompromised Internet experience." The System Controller Hub also features low-power 3-D graphics and Intel's High-Definition Audio technology. Intel Centrino Atom also allows OEMs to integrate wireless connectivity capabilities such as Wi-Fi, WiMax and cellular data.

Bill Calder, a spokesperson for Intel, said the browsing experience on these small devices-which OEMs plan to begin shipping in the summer-is going to be like sitting in front of a PC with broadband connectivity, on a screen size of 4.5 to 6 inches. The devices will give direct access to online content and applications, he said, unlike the browsing experience of Apple's iPhone or RIM's BlackBerry devices.

"[When you use an iPhone], if you go to the YouTube site, you might not know that's a custom-tailored YouTube site for iPhone users," he said. "There are some limitations to getting that full Internet."

In a similar vein, a BlackBerry delivers filtered browsing that's "not a very good experience," Calder said.

Read the full story at eWEEK Midmarket.

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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