Intel's Atom gets price and speeds, expected in devices by summer

At the Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai today, the highly anticipated Atom microprocessors, designed especially for use in ultra portables/mobile internet devices (MIDs) and embedded systems were given their official SKU numbers and unit prices along with detailed specs.

Intel's Atom microarchitecture is made up of the company's smallest chips yet with a die size of 7.8mm x 3.1mm and total Thermal Design Point of under 3 watts. These tiny processors offer speeds of up to 1.8Ghz while requiring very little power to do so.

In comparison, a 3 year old dual-core Intel Pentium Extreme 840 worked at about 3.2GHz, but required 130W of power for heat dissipation. The Atom may run only half as fast, but does so while consuming 43 times less energy.


From Intel's chart of SKUs, features and price, Atom looks to provide the following:

SKUSPEEDTDP (thermal design point)FSB (front side bus)PRICE
Z500800MHz0.65W400 MHz$45
Z5101.1GHz2W400 MHz$45
Z5201.33GHz2W533 MHz$65
Z5301.6GHz2W533 MHz$95
Z5401.86GHz2.4W533 MHz$160

Intel said companies such as Lenovo, Asus, NEC, Fujitsu, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba will use Atom chipsets in devices available as early as this summer.

Additionally, Intel expects 30 percent of Atom-equipped MIDs to have both Wi-Fi and WiMAX connectivity built in.

Even companies not utilizing Intel chips are adopting next-generation connectivity in their upcoming MIDs. Everex, which recently released its somewhat quirky Cloudbook UMPC was showing off its Cloudbook MAX device at CTIA Wireless 2008 this week. That upcoming ultramobile, though equipped with a 1.6GHz VIA processor, supports Sprint's XOHM WiMAX out of the box.

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