For a few months, we’d been hearing talk of a new dedicated Intel processor for MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices), intended to compete with ARM processors. Initially known by the names Silverthorne and Diamondville, the processors in this new line will be called "Atom". These chips have a few surprises in store.
Interesting and Surprising Choices
Atom CPUs are surprising for more than one reason: they have modern functions (EM64T, SSSE3, etc.) grafted onto an older architecture The Atom is the first in-order x86 since the Pentium. Power management and fabrication costs are the two imperatives Intel seems to have been guided by, at the expense (with no attempt made to hide it) of performance. So, no, don’t expect a competitor to Core 2 Duo. But what does the Atom really have to offer? We’ll see that as this piece unfolds.