Intel Atom Platform: Smaller, More Energy-Efficient

Dec 22, 2009

Intel's reworked Atom platform enhances netbooks and Internet devices with integrated graphics and memory controller.

With its usual focus on optimization, the chip vendor now provides the Atom 45-nanometer processor, with minimal energy consumption and better performance. Intel claims a 20% reduction in power consumption over Atom's predecessor. Integrated graphics and memory management for the first time in a CPU do the rest and allow for a smaller form factor. Said differently, the memory controller eliminates one of three chips, with only the CPU and chipset remaining. Intel claims this translates to a 60% smaller footprint for netbooks and mobile Internet devices.

The smaller the die, the more fits on the wafer, as in the N450 chip, code-named Pine Trail.

The new platform for netbooks consists of the N450 processor and the low-power NM10 Express chipset. Vendors building entry-level desktops have recourse to the Atom D410 or dual-core D510 processor using the same chipset.

The most energy-efficient of the three, the N450, provides a core with 512 KBytes L2 cache. Intel gives a benchmark for power consumption of a thermal design power (TDP) of 7 watts for the total package including chipset. The single-core D410 also provides the 512-KByte L2 cache, with a 12-watt TDP. The dual-processor D510 has 1 MByte L2 cache with a 15-watt TDP. All chips have the 1.66-GHz processor frequency in common. Prices should be available in January. Further details on the new chip microarchitecture are on Intel's technology webpage.

Die for the new N450.

Related content

comments powered by Disqus
Subscribe to our Linux Newsletters
Find Linux and Open Source Jobs
Subscribe to our ADMIN Newsletters

Support Our Work

Linux Magazine content is made possible with support from readers like you. Please consider contributing when you’ve found an article to be beneficial.

Learn More