While we may know of the Atom CPU right now as the brains inside nearly every netbook on the market, Intel’s got more diverse aspirations for its tiniest current processor.
To make its Atom more, shall we say, multipurpose, Intel announced four new versions of the Atom Z5xx line include industrial-temperature options as well as different package-size choices.
Newly listed on an Intel webpage are new Atom Z510, Z520 and Z530 chips, running at 1.1, 1.3 and 1.6 GHz, respectively. But what sets the new chips apart is the P or PT suffix at the end of the model name.
The Z510P and Z530P share many of the same specifications as the other chips in the family with the similar name, except that they are packaged as 437-ball FCBGA8 (22x22 mm), as opposed to the 441-ball FCBGA8 USFF (13x14 mm).
Things get even more interesting with the Z510PT and Z520PT. Both share the same package as the ‘P’ processors, but instead of the usual commercial-grade 0 to +70° C, the ‘PT’ chips are designed to operate in industrial temperatures of -40 to +85° C.
Intel hopes that these more hardy Atoms will be of use inside cars, industrial control and automation, media phones and various eco-technologies.
"With the addition of these new products, we can bring the benefits of Intel processors to new applications, devices and customers who develop products used in unconstrained thermal environments with low-power in mind," said Doug Davis, vice president, Digital Enterprise Group and general manager, Embedded and Communications Group, Intel. "Meeting the needs of embedded environments and new market segments will play a large role in delivering the connectivity and functionality necessary as the number of devices connecting to the embedded Internet is expected to grow to an estimated 15 billion devices by 2015."
Intel added that it has committed the Atom to a 7-year lifecycle for industries that operate on a slower product refresh schedule, such as in the automotive industry. The new chips will be available in the second quarter.
In related news, Intel on Monday announced an agreement with TSMC to allow the production of Atom-based System on Chip (SoC) devices outside of Intel factories.