Intel Launches 2GHz Atom Processor

Intel showed no sign of slowing down in the speed lane as it launched a 2GHz version of the Atom processor, one year after it was officially launched.

The Z550 was showed at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) which is currently held in Beijing as a working part in a mobile internet device. Another CPU will also join the family of Atom processors, the Z515 will run at speeds up to 1.2GHz and should in theory be one of the more power efficient models of the lot.

The previous Atom Processor, the Z540, reached speeds of up to 1.866GHz. The Z550 is part of the Silverthone 45nm family of processors, comes with 512KB L2 cache, a 533MHz FSB and supports both Hyper Threading and Intel VT, while consuming having a TDP of 3W.

Singularly, The Z series is destined for the posher MID market, not the less lucrative netbook segment where the N270 and N280 reign supreme. Expect the single core Z550 to sell for at least $135 which is the price of the Z340.

Intel also demoed the first iteration of Moorestown, an integrated platform that brings together a System on Chip (SoC) codenamed Lincroft, which is basically a 45nm Atom CPU, video graphics, IO and memory controller.

This will not only allow for tighter integration but also reduce production prices, power consumption and improve performance. Intel has said that Moorestown-based platforms should be at least 10 times more power efficent compared to today's Atom devices, which means that 8-hours battery life should be common place next year.

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Our Comments

Intel should move to 32nm process fairly quickly and will release Pineview, the next generation of Atom CPU, probably by this time next year. Expect Intel to add another core and a speed bump to 2.4GHz to it to bring it at least to the power level of a Pentium 4 2.8GHz, which is very impressive given the power consumption credentials of the platform.

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