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Intel is Stepping on the Gas for Atom CPU Plans

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments

New Atom technology every year for the next three years. Get ready for faster Atoms.

Intel's latest desktop and laptop chips are of the Sandy Bridge family, but when it comes to the entry-level price points and netbooks, it's all about the Atom.

The Atom processor family hasn't been getting the love that Intel's desktop-class chips get, but that'll all change. Intel's Executive Vice President Sean Maloney at his Computex address highlighted key milestones and additional details on upcoming generations of Intel Atom processor-based platforms for tablets, netbooks and smartphones.

Intel says that the upcoming Atom processor innovations will actually outpace Moore’s Law, accelerating from 32nm through 22nm to 14nm within three successive years. Improvements from one generation to the next will include reduction in transistor leakage, lower active power and increase of transistor density to enable more powerful smartphones, tablets, netbooks with more features and longer battery life.

Reaching its 100 million-unit milestone this month, Intel is preparing its next-generation netbook platform, codenamed “Cedar Trail.” Cedar Trail is the first netbook platform based on Intel’s 32nm technology, and will bring ultra-thin, fanless designs with new capabilities such as Rapid Start technology which provides fast resume, Smart Connect Technology which enables always updated experience even during standby, Wireless Display and PC Synch, which let users wirelessly update and synchronize documents, content and media across multiple devices. In addition, the new platform will enable more than 10 hours of battery life and weeks of standby. Cedar Trail will support leading operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, Google Chrome and MeeGo. 

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  • 21 Hide
    zooted , June 5, 2011 4:13 PM
    burnley14Which is why AMD has sold far more units than the 100 million Intel just celebrated, right? Right?

    He said outclassed, meaning it will remain the superior of the two, not the better selling.
  • 18 Hide
    geekapproved , June 5, 2011 3:25 PM
    Cedar Trail will be outclassed by AMD, just like Atom is now.
  • 10 Hide
    scazbala86 , June 5, 2011 10:18 PM
    otacon72Typical AMD funboy...AMD is done. They will never compete in the high end CPU market ever again.


    Typical Intel fanboy, saying AMD is done. :p 
Other Comments
  • 18 Hide
    geekapproved , June 5, 2011 3:25 PM
    Cedar Trail will be outclassed by AMD, just like Atom is now.
  • 2 Hide
    scuba dave , June 5, 2011 3:32 PM
    3 years from 32nm to 14nm? I don't know if I'd trust Intel's atom's if they are gonna upgrade that fast.. Especially when they mess up their 2 year cycle so often, seemly. :/ 
  • 21 Hide
    zooted , June 5, 2011 4:13 PM
    burnley14Which is why AMD has sold far more units than the 100 million Intel just celebrated, right? Right?

    He said outclassed, meaning it will remain the superior of the two, not the better selling.
  • 0 Hide
    enewmen , June 5, 2011 4:15 PM
    I'm not a hardware engineer, but by rushing through 32-22-14nm seems like a VERY difficult way to make a chip efficient and perform well!
    Just seems much easier to underclock/fewer cores/less cache an Ivy Bridge/Haswell or make a very different architecture more like the ARM. Is the x86 so inherently inefficient (or not well suited for small devices)? I'm Missing something basic?
    Yes, I also think the Cedar Trail is only a modest improvement over the Pineview and will get spanked just as easily.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 5, 2011 4:20 PM
    > intel haz no good GPU!!!

    Could you name any tasks other than gaming that require a 'good GPU' on an Atom system? And gaming is much less important than children think.
  • 9 Hide
    Kryan , June 5, 2011 4:29 PM
    zootedHe said outclassed, meaning it will remain the superior of the two, not the better selling.

    Toyota sell more cars than BMW and Mercedes together...does that mean Toyota's cars are better than ze German's vehicles? I think not.

    (that was me agreeing with zooted btw)
  • 0 Hide
    robisinho , June 5, 2011 4:49 PM
    is Oak Trail a Cedar Trail processor? if so, I can see why they are moving Atom up to the first-gen fabs at each node... Oak Trail is behind ARM for this year's early Android systems, by the time it comes out it will be pushing less than half the benchmark scores.
  • 1 Hide
    jimmysmitty , June 5, 2011 4:53 PM
    enewmenI'm not a hardware engineer, but by rushing through 32-22-14nm seems like a VERY difficult way to make a chip efficient and perform well!Just seems much easier to underclock/fewer cores/less cache an Ivy Bridge/Haswell or make a very different architecture more like the ARM. Is the x86 so inherently inefficient (or not well suited for small devices)? I'm Missing something basic?Yes, I also think the Cedar Trail is only a modest improvement over the Pineview and will get spanked just as easily.


    Yet it has worked out well for their desktop lineup. Intel releases a new arch and then a new porcess within two yesr. They are basically going to do the same with Atom. And I think that once they move Atom to 22nm it will be a major game changer due to the 3D tri gate tech. They can stack memory on the die which will eliminate the need for memory anywhere elese, make it much faster since it will be on the die and cut system costs.

    Add that to the extra power savings that 22nm will bring plus the advanced power states Atom will have at 32nm (it can turn off parts of the CPU that is not needed when in use).

    KryanToyota sell more cars than BMW and Mercedes together...does that mean Toyota's cars are better than ze German's vehicles? I think not.


    Toyota has had the best quality rating for a while. Ford is actually rapidly coming upon that, due to them utilizing their European designs more and VW, a German car maker, now ahs some of their cars manufatured in China.

    Of course better is all about the person. Some people don't take care of their cars. My Ford COntour is 12 years old and the most I have had to do was replace the upper and lower air intake gaskets.
  • -5 Hide
    The Greater Good , June 5, 2011 5:11 PM
    KryanToyota sell more cars than BMW and Mercedes together...does that mean Toyota's cars are better than ze German's vehicles? I think not.


    If resale value is any indicator, yes... the Toyota is better. Oh, Honda also holds higher resale value than BMW, MB. Higher prices doesn't always mean that you're getting a better product.
  • 2 Hide
    legacy7955 , June 5, 2011 5:12 PM
    Actually your Ford Contour is an indentical twin to the MKI Ford Mondeo, which is a German Ford.

    Only minor changes were made to the Mondeo ( US EPA/DOT) requirements to make the car legal for sale in the USA, and they changed the name.

    Actually the next generation Mondeo will be sold in the US sometime in the next couple of years. It will be almost the same as the European version and carry the Mondeo name plate.
  • 3 Hide
    11796pcs , June 5, 2011 6:38 PM
    For what the Atom is meant for, it does it's job VERY well. Of course it's not fast- it's designed that way. It's meant for web browsing and that's what is does well. All of you even bringing up gaming need to leave. They're meant to be low heat and low power consumption. The fact that they can run with passive cooling is awesome.
  • -7 Hide
    Mario75 , June 5, 2011 6:54 PM
    GeekApprovedCedar Trail will be outclassed by AMD, just like Atom is now.

    How do you know?Oh wait,i know - you have crystal ball with amd letters on it and you can see very bright amd future LOL
    I bet,that Intel will trash any amd cpu,and very "smart" talking about Atom,when he is nearly 3y old and compare it to recently released products.New Atom will trash amd,but knowing amd,they probably will give only promises,just like with BullDozeER xD

    KryanToyota sell more cars than BMW and Mercedes together...does that mean Toyota's cars are better than ze German's vehicles? I think not.

    Yo failed with your comparison with cars,its not cars,its IT,here are different rules,and thats why Intel selling way to many cpu's comparing to lame amd offers.
    Its clear to every with brains,that Intels cpu to superior for amd to catch,amd ages behind and giving they fans only promises.Anybody BullDozzeER? xD
    Only good amd exist its because you get fantastic cpu (Sandy) for good price,which owes any amd cpu,and probably will owe that IT's Duke Nukem Forever - bullldozzer xD

  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 5, 2011 7:14 PM
    Kryan: Define "better". Besides, Toyota makes Lexus, which does compete just fine with BMW and Mercedes in "I'm a fascist douchebag who needs the interior of his car covered in leather and shiny fake wood grain to distinguish it from blue-collar Corolla drivers".

    For overall engineering prowess, innovation and reliability, Toyota is definitely the world leader, then Honda, followed by the Germans, then the rest of the Japanese carmakers, with America in a distant 4th, then the Koreans. Toyotas are engineering marvels if you take the time to study them and see what they've done, especially when you compare them to something like a Ford(V6 FWD cars that require you to remove the engine to change the back 3 sparkplugs, anyone?).

    Yours Truly,
    A guy who's owned a lot of different cars
  • 8 Hide
    samwelaye , June 5, 2011 7:23 PM
    Mario75, actually for NOW, the amd netbooks are outperforming intel. On a side note, that was probably one of the most unintelligent comments i have ever read.
  • 3 Hide
    santfu , June 5, 2011 7:31 PM
    another user> intel haz no good GPU!!!Could you name any tasks other than gaming that require a 'good GPU' on an Atom system? And gaming is much less important than children think.

    hmm, GPU (or APU) will become increasingly important, with HTML 5 around the corner and GPU accelerated browsers becoming the norm, low power netbooks/tablets will be missing the best bits of the next web if they don't have decent graphics processing.

  • 0 Hide
    livebriand , June 5, 2011 7:54 PM
    But can it smack AMD Fusion's ass? That is the question.
  • 5 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , June 5, 2011 7:56 PM
    another user> intel haz no good GPU!!!Could you name any tasks other than gaming that require a 'good GPU' on an Atom system? And gaming is much less important than children think.

    why do u pay more and get a crappy atom with no good GPU while u can pay less or the same and get a Fusion APU that come with good GPU ?
  • 2 Hide
    Blessedman , June 5, 2011 8:17 PM
    Intel > AMD on pure performance per watt on all CPU fronts
    AMD > Intel on pure performance per watt on all GPU fronts

    Intel > ALL on pure manufacturing process...

    So Intel pushing for a piece of the ultra portable market makes perfect sense. This also explain Intel's very large "investment" in Nvidia.
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