Report: Intel Releasing Two More Atoms

Tired of seeing the same old 1.6 GHz version of the Intel Atom? According to an internet report, soon there will be more numbers to pick from.

Hong Kong-based computer enthusiast website HKEPC (translated) reported that Intel will next month release two new Atom CPUs. One will be the Z550, which will bring the core clock speed to 2.0 GHz. It shall retain the same power characteristics as the 1.86 GHz Z540, thereby giving more performance per watt.

What remains to be see is how the new chip will affect pricing for the entire Atom line. As we’ve previously noted, the 1.86 GHz Atom chip costs twice as much as the 1.6 GHz version, which helps to explain why the latter model is the most popular -- it’s the fastest one can sensibly go before getting cost prohibitive in a budget-conscious machine.

The Z550 will likely be most often found on Intel’s US15W “Poulsbo” chipset, which supports 2 GB of RAM and adds some light acceleration for high-definition video decode while maintaining energy-friendly characteristics.

The second new Atom supposedly to be released is the Z515, which focuses even further on power-efficiency. The chip is to incorporate what is called Intel Performance Burst Technology, which can put the chip at 800 MHz or 1.2 GHz, presumably depending on multiplier on the 400 MHz FSB. How or if this related to Intel SpeedStep technology is still unclear. The Z515 is reported to have a TDP of 0.65W to 1.4W, depending on mode, making it a good candidate for MIDs.

The Z515 will be paired with the entry level “Poulsbo” chipset UL11L, which supports a maximum of 512 MB of RAM.

We’ll know more next month when Intel is expected to launch the new chips.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • apache_lives
    Heh a Pentium 3's 815 chipset was capable of running without any HSF (like with some Intel branded motherboards) and since this thing performs around it, how come they cant pull it off again? iv even seen SiS 651 chipsets running with no cooling!
  • they could clock the Atom 2Ghz processor to 400 or 500mhz if necessary.

    I bet for many applications this would be sufficient and put the Atom with an even lower TDP.
  • 1raflo
    Let me guess... The 2 ghz Atom will be sold at twice the price as the 1.8 ghz verison.
  • timaahhh
    Let me guess... The 2 ghz Atom will give you a 1% performance increase cause the crappy G945 chipset.
  • cruiseoveride
    Atom sucks Nano balls
  • Thank GOD! I was waiting for the 1.6 GHz Z600, Z601, and Z602 offering TDPs of 1.90W, 1.91W and 1.92W respectively to better meet specific application needs. Intel, please don't put the Atom team in charge of mainstream desktop products anytime soon!
  • sublifer
    Next week they'll be selling re-branded Pentium 166 mx chips as Atom Z200 ultra low voltage netbook chips.