Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Intel's Atom

Intel is back in the handheld devices business with 'Atom', the most compact processor by the company so far.This is Intel's second foray into small handheld devices after it sold off its XScale series to Marvell.The 'Atom' line of processors are a single shed for Intel's Silverthorne and Diamondville series. The Menlow platform has been renamed as 'Centrino Atom'. Silverthorne is intended for MID and Diamondville for UMPC. 'Centrino Atom' includes a Silverthorne, as well as Poulsbo chipset and a wireless chipset. Atom runs at a top speed of 1.8 Ghz. The lower-end of the speed spectrum hasn't been mentioned.

Looking at that, its possible that, the first series of Androids shipping later this year will be running on an Atom. Considering that the initial Android devices will be running at 500 Mhz - 700 Mhz, Silverthorne seems a good choice. On the contrary, some analysts believe that the 1st generation of Silverthorne is not small enough to fit into a smartphone and it will take Morrestown's (2nd generation Silverthorne, 2009) SoC design to make it possible.

Considering that both Intel and Texas Instruments(
OMAP3) are prominent members of OHA, the speculation on the processors is widely open. It all comes down to HTC, which will be the first company to release Android-based phones. HTC has used ARMv11 on its TynTN II and Qualcomm's MSM7200 (ARM11-based SoC) for Shift(400 Mhz), Nike 100/200, Kaiser 100, Polaris 100/200, Erato and upcoming Omni(528 Mhz), Sedna and Sirius 100.

Via [Forbes.com]

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