Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

SponsorWatch: Intel Launches Atom Brand For MIDs, Netbooks And Nettops...

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 2, 2008

Intel launched its Atom brand to describe its latest microprocessor architecture designed to be used in small computer devices such as pocket PCs and ultra-light notebooks like the Asus EEE.

It's the smallest microprocessor Intel makes with the smallest transistors - 47 million. With its huge 300mm chip fabs, Intel is going to be able to produce a massive number of these chips.

The Intel Atom processor is based on an entirely new microarchitecture designed specifically for small devices and low power, while maintaining the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo instruction set compatibility consumers are accustomed to when using a standard PC and the Internet.

The design also includes support for multiple threads for better performance and increased system responsiveness. All of this on a chip that measures less than 25 mm², making it Intel’s smallest and lowest power processor yet.* Up to 11 Intel Atom processor die -- the tiny slivers of silicon packed with 47 million transistors each -- would fit in an area the size of an American penny.

Intel expects the Atom chips to also be used to make inexpensive notebooks and desktops which it has dubbed "netbooks" and "nettops." These could find markets in developing countries.

The first devices using the Atom microprocessor chips will be out later this year.

Here is a quick video introducing Atom:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ2sZk-0UKE

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