Although current Atom processors consume very little power, their
supporting chipsets do not.
For example, while the Atom N270
processor has a 2.5W TDP (Thermal Design Power), the 945GSE chipset
and 82801GBM (ICH7M) I/O controller it is usually paired up with is
rated for 9.3W. Intel currently builds Atom processors on a 45nm
process, but the chipset itself is built on a much older 90nm
To address this issue, Intel has been working on a next-generation
Atom chip codenamed Pineview. The new chip integrates the DDR2
memory controller and graphics processor on the CPU die. Not only
this this reduce power consumption, it also dramatically lowers
production costs by reducing the number of chips needed.
cost savings are achievable by using four-layer Printed Circuit
Boards, since the new chips require less complicated routing. It is
expected that these savings will be passed on to consumers.
is citing a 20% reduction in average power consumption and 60%
smaller package size as enabling new smaller and thinner netbook form
factors. The company recommends that its Atom CPUs only be used in
mobile computers with a maximum screen size of 10.2 inches. Notebooks
larger than that should be equipped with an Ultra-Low Voltage CPU
Pineview chips are designed to be used with
the NM10 Express Chipset to form the Pine Trail platform. The
NM10 chip supports eight USB 2.0 ports, two 3Gbps SATA ports, two
32-bit PCIe slots, four PCIe lanes, and Intel's HD Audio.
Intel has announced three new Pineview chips: D510, D410,
and N450. The D series chips are designed for net-tops (entry-level
desktop PCs), while N series chips are designated for netbooks. The
D510 is a dual
core CPU with 1MB of L2 cache and a 15W total TDP
(including chipset), while the D410 is a
single-core CPU with 512KB of L2 cache and a 12-watt total TDP
The N450 is also a single-core CPU with 512KB of L2
cache, but features a total system TDP of 7W with the chipset.
All three chips are clocked at 1.66GHz. Pricing will be
announced on January 4th as Pine Trail becomes
available in computers from OEMs including ASUS, Acer, Dell, Toshiba,
Fujitsu, Lenovo, Samsung and MSI.
“The Intel Atom processor has fueled an entirely new category of
computing over the last year and a half and we think the growth will
continue for devices like netbooks and entry-level PCs built around
basic computing and Internet usage models,” said Mooly Eden,
Intel's Corporate Vice President and the General Manager
of Intel's PC Client Group.
“We're excited to be
delivering the next-generation Atom platform and working across the
industry as we head into a second phase of growth, powering
innovative new system designs with better performance, smaller
footprints and better battery life,"
will also be launching its new 32nm
Clarkdale and Arrandale CPUs within the next few
weeks. Both chips integrate a DDR3 memory controller and GPU on the
packaging, although those portions are being built on a 45nm process.
Mass production has started at Intel's D1C and D1D fabs in Hillsboro,
Atom CPUs will begin the transition to the 32nm node
in late 2010, but might not make it to market until early 2011. Intel
hopes to have Atom chips available sooner with the 22nm
generation, with a targeted launch in early 2012.