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Hopes that the 22 nm Atom smartphones will land by holiday 2013 appear to be fading

Back in 2011 Intel Corp. (INTC) made the bold promise that it would accelerate its release schedule on the mobile front to push out 22 nm smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs by 2013.  Dubbed ValleyView, the chip was expected to feature between one and four of Intel's new Atom core design, dubbed Silvermont.  As recently as the 2012 Intel Developer Forum, the company indicated that the 22 nm mobile platform (core: Silvermont; SoC: ValleyView; chipset: Bay Trailwould air by "late" 2013.

Now, according to leaked decks of slides, which were posted by a user named Ronny145 in a German forum and first picked up by 3DCenter.org, the launch may have been punted to 2014.

The deck shows the beta of ValleyView chips wrapping up in Q4 2013, along with the start of full production.  But the chips won't actually hit the market, according to the deck until Q1 2014 at the soonest.

Intel Atom ValleyView
[Click to Enlarge] [Image Source: 3DCenter.org]

The lowest-powered ValleyView chips are expected to hit under 3W, according to one slide from the deck.  This version (ValleyView) is likely the smartphone variant, while the other variants ('M' and 'D') are more likely to see use in tablets, netbooks, and budget laptops.

Intel ValleyView Power
[Click to Enlarge] [Image Source: 3DCenter.org]

To be fair, it did seem overly ambitious to somehow be able to jam out ValleyView/Silvermont in 2013.  Not only is the release a die shrink, which adds the FinFET "3D" transistor design first employed in 2012's Ivy Bridge personal computer chip release, but it also adds other features like a seventh generation graphics core (with DirectX 11 support).  Also added is support for DDR3L (the low powered version of DDR3 for mobile devices), USB 3.0, and on-die security/authentication features.

Intel ValleyView improvements
[Click to Enlarge] [Image Source: 3DCenter.org]

The chip also undergoes important structural changes; most notably, the current CedarView is comprised of 2 SoCs (processor+chipset), while the ValleyView brings the chipset onto the processor die, unifying the two chips into a single die.  The chip will also be the first Atom to be offered in a quad-core variety.

Intel ValleyView
[Click to Enlarge] [Image Source: 3DCenter.org]
 

The ValleyView-M variant is expected to clock up to 2.7 GHz with so-called "Burst Technology".  That high speed would indicate Intel is following a similar route to NVIDIA Corp. (NVDA) and other ARM Holdings Plc. (LON:ARM) partners, in design a chip that can greatly upclock or downclock itself, a key to power management in mobile devices.
 
Intel ValleyView Speed
[Click to Enlarge] [Image Source: 3DCenter.org]
 

The move to a single die is expected to trim around 1.5 watts alone.  However, Intel must move quickly as its rivals already have the upper hand in unit sales and some rival chipmakers like Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd. (KSC:005930) are testing 14 nm FinFETs.  It's unclear just how far along Samsung's FinFET tape out is, but Intel must push to keep its planned 2014 launch of 14 nm mobile offerings on course, or at the very least not let it slip too far into 2015.

Source: 3D Center [Translated]



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Merrifield
By leomax999 on 1/3/2013 9:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
AFAIK Merrifield will come before BayTrail-M/T.




RE: Merrifield
By Mitch101 on 1/4/2013 8:38:53 AM , Rating: 2
This gets real interesting in 2014 as AMD brings a 64bit ARM based CPU line in as well plus their x86/x64 chipset is already pretty good especially surrounding graphics. AMD really needs to work with Samsung on producing some 22nm chips otherwise Intel could have a big advantage as they are a powerhouse of manufacturing. 2014 could be an interesting year.


RE: Merrifield
By ilt24 on 1/4/2013 10:41:33 AM , Rating: 2
Right, the -T -M and -D are for tablet, mobile (as in net/notebook) and desktop, so I think these replace Cedarview/trail and not the phone chip Medfield, which will be replaced by Merrifield.


RE: Merrifield
By Khato on 1/4/2013 12:32:13 PM , Rating: 2
Correct. Valleyview is the successor to Cedarview, as the slides in the presentation make quite clear. This is a completely different product line from the *field products for smartphones.

So this 'news' has absolutely nothing to do with Intel's smartphone offerings. If anything it should be titled "Leaked Intel Atom Roadmap Suggests 22 nm Tablet Chip Delayed Till 2014". Anyone that can read the roadmap Intel presented last May knows that Merrifield is the codename for the 22nm Atom smartphone design.


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