Intel releases details on next-generation Atom processors

45 nanometer chips to run on just 2.4 watts, average laptop CPU today uses 35 watts

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By  Quintin Smith Published  April 4, 2008

Intel has unveiled some more details on its new range of Atom and Centrino Atom processors at this week’s Intel Developers Forum in Shanghai.

The chips will run at speeds of up to 1.8GHz, which could be considered slow if it weren’t for the chips’ low, low thermal ceiling of 0.65 to 2.4 watts. By way of comparison, the average mainstream Core 2 Duo processor runs
on around 35 watts of power.

Atom chips will also be cheap, with prices for the chips ranging from $45 to $160.

Intel has always stated that the technology is aimed at mobile internet devices (MIDs) as well as low-cost, Internet-centric laptops that the company has dubbed "netbooks" and basic Internet-centric desktop PCs they call "nettops”.

At the forum Intel went on to list 25 manufacturers that are releasing mobile devices suitable for the chips this year. The list included LG, Lenovo and Matsushita.

While MIDs have yet to take off, the Atom could potentially change that. At the very least at this time next year we’re going to be looking at faster mobile devices with longer battery lives and cheaper price tags.

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