updated 08:50 am EDT, Fri March 20, 2009
Intel 2GHz Atom in April
Intel is gearing up to launch two new Atom variants next month that will alternately raise performance and lower power consumption compared to existing chips, a late leak indicates. The Z550 will boost the maximum clock speed for the ultra-mobile chip from 1.86GHz to 2GHz without affecting the peak thermal power ceiling of 2.4W, letting it run in the same environments as the older chip. It should likewise keep the same 533MHz bus and 512K of Level 2 cache.
The Z515, however, will be targeted at very small hardware like Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and should consume a near cellphone-like level of power thanks to dynamic scaling. It can peak at 1.2GHz and use an already-low 1.4W of power versus the 2W of the 1.33GHz chip above it, but can alternately run as low as 800MHz and peak at just 0.65W. The chip in this mode would use just 0.16W of energy in typical conditions, according to estimates. Its key sacrifices would involve a slower 400MHz system bus and a 100MHz slower graphics core.
Bulk pricing and computers that would use Atom haven't been made public. [via Pocketables]