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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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One correction
By Varun on 1/4/2013 10:43:11 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
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


Um, Intel has had this for a long time already. I don't think they are following NVidia or ARM in this. The current Core i7 can overclock itself by 50%, and underclock itself for idle/low power mode.




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