Intel Ready to Tackle Smartphone, Tablet Markets with New Atom Platform

Paul Lilly

Atom chip sales might be down, but defintely not out. With the release of Moorestown, Intel will try to reinvigorate its low power processor platform, making a hard push for high-end smartphones and the emerging tablet market.

"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."

Kicking off the new platform is the Intel Atom processor Z6xx series, previously codenamed "Lincroft." Built around a high-K 45nm manufacturing process, these chips boast 512K of L2 cache, 3D graphics (Intel GMA 600), video encode/decode capabilities, and memory and display controllers built into an integrated system-on-chip (SoC).

The other part of the platform is the new Intel PCH MP20 chipset, previously known as "Langwell." Langwell integrates a range of I/O blocks such as a NAND controller, low-power audio engine, high-resolution camera, USB OTG, and a handful of other goodies. It's also accompanied by a dedicated Mixed Signal IC (MSIC) called "Briertown," which serves up support for popular software platforms like Android, Moblin v2.1, and MeeGo, Intel says.

Ready for the best part? Intel says the new platform supports a range of scalable frequencies, up to 1.5GHz for high-end smartphones (compared to today's mobile darling, the 1GHz Snapdragon chip) and up to 1.9GHz for tablets and other handheld devices.

Image Credit: Intel

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