by Anton Shilov
05/12/2011 | 04:27 PM
Intel Corp. is working on a brand new micro-architecture for its Atom system-on-chip (SoC) devices for various low-power electronics. The first new chip to utilize the new micro-architecture is code-named Silvermont, which will emerge in 2013 and will be made using 22nm/tri-gate process technology.
The new micro-architecture for ultra low-power designs is projected to be completely different from current Atom-based solutions. Coupled with Intel's 22nm fabrication process with tri-gate transistors, Silvermont is "expected to enable new levels of integration and performance and make major strides in power efficiency", reports Cnet News web-site.
No actual Silvermont product details are available at this point, but it is believed that the Silvermont architecture will be designed specifically to take advantage the 22nm technology with tri-gate transistors.
Intel's next-generation Atom code-named Cedarview, which is expected to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011, will be a significant update of the Atom family since early 2008. But Silvermont will not only feature new micro-architecture, which automatically means new performance levels or additional power efficiency, but will open new doors for Intel thanks to the new 22nm/tri-gate process technology.
According to Intel itself, the 22nm process technology with tri-gate transistors provide up to 37% performance increase at low voltage versus Intel's 32nm planar transistors, and over 50% reduction of power consumption with similar performance. Some analysts further estimate that 22nm/tri-gate process tech provides performance/watt advantage of 10%-20% for power optimized chips versus a planar 22nm process. Many believe that with 22nm/tri-gate fabrication process Intel will be able to compete against ARM-based SoCs on the field of smartphones.
Intel did not comment on the news-story, but the company is likely to reveal more details concerning its roadmap in general and Atom SoCs in particular at a meeting with financial analysts later this month.