Intel Ramps Up "Inadequate" Atom Roadmap

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News Posted: Wed, May 18 2011 3:58 PM
If we're going by market share numbers alone, then Intel rules the desktop world, and all but owns the netbook and nettop landscapes. But when it comes to mobile handheld devices like smartphones and tablets, well, ARM is the one flexing its muscle. It's no secret that Intel wants to make its presence known in this space, but how can it compete with an already established platform that's kicking tail and taking names?

Simply put, Intel's off to the races with an expedited Atom roadmap. The Santa Clara chip maker pretty much put the world on notice that it's coming, and in a big way.

"We decided, looking forward, that our roadmap was inadequate," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said Tuesday during the company's financial analyst meeting.



According to Otellini, Intel is shifting its design goals to lower the midpoint in power consumption, which today is 35 to 40 watts. That's fine and dandy for notebooks, but not so great for tablets and smartphones. The new midpoint, if everything goes to plan, will be 15 watts, Otellini said.

Going forward, watch for Intel to bring out 32nm Atom processors, codenamed Saltwell, in 2011 or 2012, with 22nm Silvermont chips due out in 2013. One year after that -- or just three years from today -- Intel plans to launch a 14nm Atom processor currently codenamed Airmont.

This is a departure in strategy for Intel, which has been following a tick-tock schedule. But with this new accelerated roadmap in place, Intel will keep pace with a fast moving mobile world by releasing new designs with each node.


In related news, Intel also announced its intentions of unveiling at least 10 tablets built around its Atom platform at this year's Computex trade show. By the end of the year, Intel reckons there will be more than 35 Atom-based tablets in the wild.
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Schmich replied on Wed, May 18 2011 9:30 PM

This shows what Intel can do when it's got proper competition. Makes me think of all the Intel fans that hate AMD. They shouldn't hate AMD but love them. If AMD wasn't around mainstream CPU prices would be skyhigh (like the highend CPU market) and things would develop slowly. In either case, support the underdog!

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realneil replied on Wed, May 18 2011 11:47 PM

Schmich, I agree 100%. AMD's existence is what has kept 'THE BORG's' CPU prices down for years. They have a place in my heart, right next to my wallet.

There was a time that all I could afford was AMD products and then I won two Intel Boxes within three months time. (thanks again HH) Don't get me wrong, I love both of these i7-870 computers, and they're more than enough for me right now,.........but the last time I had a little money to spend, I bought an AMD powered PC (a 3.0 GHz. Calisto) for lighter powered work and it's turned out to be a decent little gamer. They have a lot of very nice CPU's for sale right now.

So yeah, support the little guy when you can, because eventually, they'll surprise you and produce an Ass-Kicker that turns the market upside down.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, May 19 2011 12:11 AM

Your opinion is the utter truth realneil. Every PC I built for years was an AMD system more because I generally new I could build comparable for 100's cheaper with AMD. I bought one laptop a couple years ago now which was Intel, and I won a PC a year and 3 months ago here with an i7 930 which is what I am typing on now. I changed the hard drives out for my old one to complement the SSD in it, and changed the CPU Heatsink out to what was top of the market for air at the time. Other than that and a change of some fans to better ones on that heatsink it is still as it came.

Either way Intel CPU's are great but over priced really to me. I can get a TOL GPU for the difference between them and AMD as well as whatever is at that time there TOL for less than building the same system with an Intel processor pretty much any time. I can also tweak the AMD CPU generally to run within a breath of the Intel one as well, and they run better under stress anyways generally for long periods of time.

I do admire Intel for always pressing the envelope on desk tops, but seemingly AMD has take that crown now unless you wanna blow an extra 2-3 grand on a laptop. As for mobile processors I will never count Intel out, but they have been loosing the whole market there for years now really with ARM based Samsung, Nvidia, TI etc walking all over them for both mobile cpu's and on board GPU's.

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