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New platform offers huge power savings compared to previous generation Atom parts

Intel has been offering its Atom line of processors for a while now. The CPUs are not known for raw performance, but they are cheap and offer reasonable battery life with netbook computers. Intel has announced a new generation Atom processor line today.

The new Atom platform requires significantly less power than previous generations of Atom processors and will let Intel enter into the smartphones and tablet PC market. These two product categories are where Intel has traditionally not been competitive because of the higher power needs of its platform. The new processors were formerly codenamed

“Intel has delivered its first product that is opening the door for Intel Architecture [IA] in the smartphone market segment," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group. "Through
Moorestown, Intel is scaling the benefits of IA while significantly reducing the power, cost and footprint to better address handheld market segments. As a result of our efforts, the Intel Atom processor is pushing the boundaries of higher performance at significantly lower power to show what's possible as handheld devices become small, powerful mobile computers."

Along with the
Moorestown parts aimed at smartphones and tablet, Intel is also showing off a new Atom Z6xx series of processors that were formerly known as the Lincroft SoC along with a new Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20 formerly known as Langwell. A new dedicated Mixed Signal IC is also being unveiled formerly known as Briertown. Intel now included the Atom Z6xx in the platform and the processor is built on the 45nm process and has 3D graphics, video encode, and video decode support along with memory and display controllers on a single SoC design.

Collectively, Intel claims that the new chips are able to deliver a 50 times reduction in idle power, 20 times reduction in audio power, and a 20 times reduction in power needs across browsing and video use. The power savings promises to let a mobile device last over ten days on standby, up to two days of audio playback, and four to five hours of web browsing and video playback per charge.

The platform also promises significantly higher performance and support for 1080p and 720p HD video. The Atom Z6xx family and Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20 are available today.

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By superPC on 5/5/2010 12:31:25 PM , Rating: -1
Don't we have enough with apple mobile OS, android, windows mobile 7, symbian, WebOS, blackberry and now we have Moblin and MeeGo?

even in PC that have significantly larger market (right now) there is only 3 major OS (windows, linux, and MacOS).

Time to see that time tested age old process of natural selection and random mutation then (evolution FTW) in smartphone OS.

By Taft12 on 5/5/2010 12:40:25 PM , Rating: 4
Don't we have enough with apple mobile OS, android, windows mobile 7, symbian, WebOS, blackberry and now we have Moblin and MeeGo?

The more the merrier. A heterogeneous ecosystem means they all need to be interoperable and use open standards. This is far preferable to the alternative (monoculture, proprietary, monopolies).

By DanNeely on 5/5/2010 1:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
There will probably be farther consolidation. MeeGo is a combination of the Moblin and Maemo projects. Moblin and Maemo will both probably fade away; as will some of the other 3rd party platforms.

Smart phone's are in similar position to home PCs in the 80's where large numbers of OSes were in competition with each other. Most of them have since died excepting small numbers of homebrew fanatics. Eventually the number of smartphone platforms will collapse as well into two or three major ones with all the also rans fading into oblivion.

By nafhan on 5/5/2010 1:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
Android and any other Linux based mobile OS's will have enough in common that portability between platforms will be a lot easier than porting to non-Linux based platforms. In other words, open source improvements to Android could be ported to Moblin/MeeGo and vice versa. Copying features is much easier when you've got access to the source code! So, this will probably be a positive thing for Android.

By porkpie on 5/5/2010 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
"Don't we have enough with apple mobile OS, android, windows mobile 7, symbian, WebOS, blackberry and now we have Moblin and MeeGo?"

Huh? Intel is offering a new cpu/chipset combo -- not a new smartphone OS.

By Aikouka on 5/5/2010 1:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
It might be a little easier to understand if you check out the Anandtech article on it:

(I set it to the page talking about the OSs for you)

By porkpie on 5/5/2010 3:21:40 PM , Rating: 2
I understand Intel's involvement in Moblin, but the OP was portraying Atom as a competitor is the OS smartphone market.

By geddarkstorm on 5/5/2010 5:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Err, not really. Because with Atom comes these new Atom based/optimized OSes that Intel worked to develop. Atom can't be fully utilized unless one uses one of these OSes, and these OSes are made specifically for Atom not ARM processors; so they go hand in hand together.

I don't see an issue with it however. Atom is really exciting. And eventually everything will coalesce down to a few cohesive OS packages.

By Mojo the Monkey on 5/5/2010 5:45:43 PM , Rating: 1
Where the hell are you coming up with this theory? The same processor family is now found in the iPhone 3GS, Palm Pre, and several newer Android devices. By the same taken, these OS's can work just fine on other hardware.

If you're referring to ability of the devices to handle the instruction set from, say, an android platform, I think you are off again. These OS's, particularly the linux based ones, are often ported to computers and devices running 386 chips and AMD64.

Why would this be any different and require a whole new OS?

By SPOOFE on 5/6/2010 3:12:22 PM , Rating: 2
By the same taken, these OS's can work just fine on other hardware.

True, but re-read his post: He's talking about taking full advantage of the potential Atom offers. If you get an OS that runs just as well on current architectures as it does on the new Atom, what incentive is there to go Atom? On the other hand, if (key word) Intel can convince enough hardware vendors that their solution provides better performance, that will up their adoption rate, but to do that they believe they need an OS specifically tailored to take advantage of the hardware.

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