Apple-bound "Silverthorne" chip now dubbed "Atom"

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Intel Corp. said this weekend that "Intel Atom" will be the official name for its new family of low-power processors designed specifically for mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and a new class of simple and affordable Internet-centric computers arriving later this year.



Formally code-named "Silverthorne," the chip is expected to turn up in several Apple products starting in the second half of the year. It's based on an entirely new microarchitecture designed specifically for small devices and low power, yet maintains the Intel Core 2 Duo instruction set, allowing it to run the same applications as today's Intel-based notebook and desktop systems.



The chip, which includes support for multiple threads, measures less than 25 mm², making it Intel's smallest and lowest power processor yet. "Up to 11 Intel Atom processor die -- the tiny slivers of silicon packed with 47 million transistors each -- would fit in an area the size of an American penny," the chipmaker said in a statement.



Silverthorne chips sport a thermal design power (TDP) specification in 0.6-2.5 watt range and scale to 1.8GHz speeds depending on customer need. By comparison, today's mainstream mobile Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP in the 35-watt range.



"This is our smallest processor built with the world's smallest transistors," said Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney. "This small wonder is a fundamental new shift in design, small yet powerful enough to enable a big Internet experience on these new devices. We believe it will unleash new innovation across the industry."



In addition to MIDs, Intel believes Atom will serve to meet demand for a new category of low-cost, Internet-centric mobile computing devices dubbed "netbooks" and basic Internet-centric desktop PCs dubbed "nettops," which are expected to grow in popularity substantially over the next several years.







In conjunction with the official naming of Silverthrone, Intel also announced that it has changed the name of the chip's supporting platform -- formally "Menlow" -- to "Intel Centrino Atom." It bundles the Intel Atom processor, a low-power companion chip with integrated graphics, a wireless radio, and thinner and lighter designs.



As was reported by AppleInsider this past September, Apple is expected to emerge as one of the largest proponents of Atom/Silverthorne, with current plans calling for the Cupertino-based Mac maker to incorporate the chips in a number of its products, most likely beginning with the redesigned Newton handheld.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    razorpitrazorpit Posts: 997member
    So what are the chances of this chip making it in to the 3G iPhone? Is this the reason why the 3G phone will not come out until June?
  • Reply 2 of 24
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Intel, an Apple-bound company.
  • Reply 3 of 24
    Let's hope so...my patience for the iPhone has just about peaked.



    P.S. I've been lurking for a while and finally made an account. Glad to be here everyone



    --



    organicpulp.blogspot.com
  • Reply 4 of 24
    strawberrystrawberry Posts: 180member
    The Newton will never return, the iPhone IS this gen's Newton... it just needs to mature a year or two.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    hattighattig Posts: 830member
    Other places have said that the SMT support might be in the Silverthorne design, but is disabled in Atom (2.5W at 1.6GHz, 0.6W at 500MHz, 500MHz Atom is probably roughly equal to a 250MHz Core 2, err, core). However Intel is also releasing a 4W SMT enabled variant called Diamondville (also under the Atom brand), and even a dual-core SMT enabled variant at 8W.



    I look forward to a 9" tablet from Apple.



    Any smaller and they might want to consider scaling up their ARM based platform rather than scaling down the desktop platform.



    Also remember that the iPhone's current CPU and GPU and DSPs and so on consume under 250mW total at load before making comments about the iPhone and Atom.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    What's with the weird flashy-movie thing in an unreadable format? Seems a bad choice for an Apple-related news site to use something that a default Safari (3.0.4) installation can't read.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Heh. Biased as I may be, I still say Apple are the only real company that can make the most of these "uber super duper super light fantastic internet palmish application experiencess"



    Either Apple or the OLPC project. Not.



    Bring on the Mac Touch w00t.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post


    So what are the chances of this chip making it in to the 3G iPhone?



  • Reply 9 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by organicpulp View Post


    Let's hope so...my patience for the iPhone has just about peaked.



    P.S. I've been lurking for a while and finally made an account. Glad to be here everyone



    Welcome to AI, now for the bad news (though it's not really bad news unless you just want OS X to run on the x86 platform...
    "Intel is targeting 0.6W - 2.0W TDPs with Silverthorne - obviously depending on clock speeds. At 2.0GHz, running at 1.0V, Silverthorne runs at 90C and dissipates 2W. The CPU temperature alone should be an indication that this is too hot for an ultra small iPhone-like form factor, so expect to see devices that are closer to a PlayStation Portable in size and at lower clock speeds for most of them."

    (source)
  • Reply 10 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    What's with the weird flashy-movie thing in an unreadable format? Seems a bad choice for an Apple-related news site to use something that a default Safari (3.0.4) installation can't read.





    Looks like they moved the link



    try this:



    http://intelpr.feedroom.com/
  • Reply 11 of 24
    derevderev Posts: 64member
    Too bad that the video is not mac centric. I have the most up-to-date flash plug-in and the video says I need cookies turned on (they are) flash player (I have), and a supported browser (guess).

  • Reply 12 of 24
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,860member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Welcome to AI, now for the bad news (though it's not really bad news unless you just want OS X to run on the x86 platform...
    "Intel is targeting 0.6W - 2.0W TDPs with Silverthorne - obviously depending on clock speeds. At 2.0GHz, running at 1.0V, Silverthorne runs at 90C and dissipates 2W. The CPU temperature alone should be an indication that this is too hot for an ultra small iPhone-like form factor, so expect to see devices that are closer to a PlayStation Portable in size and at lower clock speeds for most of them."

    (source)



    That is all well and good but who expects Apple to run the chip at 2GHz. If people want to demonstrate why ATOM won't go into the current iPhone form factor they really should highlight the fact that this isn''t yet a SOC solution. This processor would require a support chip which would be prohibitive with respect to the space it takes up. Its a physical issue that also adds to the power draw of the device.



    Frankly considering some of the really innovative ARM processors coming on the market I don't think Intel has a chance in hell of getting into iPhone this year nor next year. At least in iPhone as we know it today.



    Dave
  • Reply 13 of 24
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    At least in iPhone as we know it today.



    ... Or the Atom as we know it today. I can't find the link right now, but I believe that even the lowest Atom speeds use multitude more power than the fastest ARM speeds.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,762member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Looks like they moved the link



    try this:



    http://intelpr.feedroom.com/



    Thanks for the proper link!
  • Reply 15 of 24
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,396member
    A return of the Newton? WTH? This is unnecessary and unwanted. The iPhone is the Newton... the Newton is the iPhone... Hillary Clinton is a man!
  • Reply 16 of 24
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    How to save to disks these videos or the ones at Intel?



    http://intelpr.feedroom.com
  • Reply 17 of 24
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hattig View Post


    Other places have said that the SMT support might be in the Silverthorne design, but is disabled in Atom (2.5W at 1.6GHz, 0.6W at 500MHz, 500MHz Atom is probably roughly equal to a 250MHz Core 2, err, core).



    Disabling SMT doesn't mean halving the compute speed of the chip. Only rarely has SMT meant 10% or more performance increase, sometimes it meant a performance decrease.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zunx View Post


    How to save to disks these videos or the ones at Intel?



    http://intelpr.feedroom.com



    They have gone to get lengths to prevent you from doing that. So if you have to ask how to do it, the answer is you can't.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    They have gone to get lengths to prevent you from doing that. So if you have to ask how to do it, the answer is you can't.



    I pretty much doubt it on both points. It looks like a typical flash video, there are converters for that.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I pretty much doubt it on both points. It looks like a typical flash video, there are converters for that.



    That would be if you can get your hands on the flv. Give it a try, let me know how you make out.
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