Intel announces two new Atom CPUs

The netbook segment of the computer industry has come a long way since the category was started in late 2007. In the beginning, netbooks used processors designed for other classes of computers. Then Intel unveiled a class of processor called the Atom that was purpose-built for the netbook segment.

Today, Intel is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the introduction of the Atom processor by introducing two new SKUs. Intel senior VP and GM of the Ultra Mobility Group Anand Chandrasekher also talked about other mobility items in a keynote today at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, China.

The two new Atom processors announced during the keynote are the Atom Z550 and the Atom Z515.

The high-end Z550 runs at 2GHz and uses Intel Hyper-Threading technology. Intel says that the new processor sets a performance records for a CPU running in an under 3-watt power envelope. The Atom Z515 is designed for power savings over raw performance and runs at 1.2GHz. The processors takes advantage of Intel Burst Performance technology and is aimed at small MIDs.

During his keynote, Chandrasekher gave the first live demonstration of the Intel Moorestown platform. The platform demo gave attendees a peak at the low power usage it offers with an idle power requirement reduction of 10x compared to current Intel processors. The innovation was made possible by Intel s new Hi-k 45nm manufacturing process.

Also talked about was the forthcoming Lincroft platform which has a 45nm Intel Atom processor core with integrated graphics and memory controllers all using a common I/O hub.

Intel's Pat Gelsinger SVP of the Digital Enterprise Group talked a bit about the Nehalem Architecture during the key note. Gelsinger explained that Intel is looking to adopt more mainstream PC and laptop versions of the microarchitecture including 32nm versions with on-processor graphics like Larrabee as well as the Nehalem-EX processor that launched for the server market recently.

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