updated 09:35 am EDT, Wed April 18, 2007
Intel Ultra Mobile 2007
Continuing its unveilings at its Developer Forum, Intel today revealed its new A100 CPU platform. Based on the x86 architecture of today's Core processors, the technology previously known as "McCaslin" shares its roots in the ultra-low voltage CPUs used in ultraportable notebooks but is designed explitictly for handheld Mobile Internet Devices (or MIDs) and more advanced ultra-mobile PCs. A new chip packaging method and tuned architecture cuts power consumption down to as little as 3W while still shrinking the size of currently bulky handhelds and keeping the performance needed for Linux (the preferred OS for MID) and other desktop-class software.
Two processors will be available for the launch, Intel says. The A100 will ship at a main clock speed of 600MHz, but with a 400MHz system bus and 512KB of level 2 cache. The higher-end A110 will be clocked at 800MHz with similar features. Although no new products were announced today, Intel has said that devices will be available in the summer from ASUS, Samsung, and similar companies. It also confirmed that the recently announced HTC Shift (pictured) would be one of the first systems to use an A100-series chip.
While a significant development, an even more efficient platform is in the works, says Intel senior VP Anand Chandrasekher. "Menlow," due in 2008, will use the same 45 nanometer process as the desktop Penryn processors due in late 2007 to cut the power and size even further. No specifics of the architecture were given other than to explain that a new CPU, "Silverthorne," and an accompanying chipset, "Poulsbo," would be part of the design.