Intel Unveils the Atom Processor

Intel announced its launch of the Atom Processer recently. The processer titled, Intel’s smallest processor is built with the world’s smallest transistors. The processer targets latest mobile internet devices the nettops and netbooks. This would also yield to the new Intel® Centrino® Atom™ processor technology, which is a collection of chips to enable good Internet experiences among pocket devices.

The Intel Atom processor is the follower of Silverthorne which was released specifically for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). The Atom processor measures less than 25mm x 25mm x 1.6mm. Intel has used the micro-architecture which is based on 45nm high-K metal gate technology. The atom consists of 47-million transistors together.

Intel has launched two Atom models. The Atom N270 is for cheap notebooks/netbooks and the Atom 230 is targeted for low-power desktops/nettops.

Atom N270 has a clock speed of 1.6GHz with a front side bus speeds of 533MHz and packed with a 512KB L2 cache. The N270 also has a Thermal Design Power (TDP) with 2.5 watts. For netbooks, the Atom N270 would be enabled with Mobile Intel945GSE Express chipset capable of handling a 256MB or 512MB RAM, 2/4GB flash-based storage drive or an optional Intel Z-P230 PATA Solid-State drive. The processer can be used to install an open source Linux or Windows XP Home operating system. Estimated price would be US $250

The Atom 230 also has the same clock speed of 1.6GHz with similar bus speeds of 533MHz. The Atom 230 features a 512KB L2 cache and has a Thermal Design Power (TDP) rating of 4.0 watts. The Atom 230 processor can be assembled along with Intel 945GC chipset. This configuration can be used effecienly for low-power desktop configuration. Estimated price of a Nettop – $200 – $300