For many years the world’s largest maker of microprocessors concentrated on increasing performance of its chips using any means as the markets of desktops and laptops have been expanding at a rapid pace. Nevertheless, in the recent years the trends have changed and now consumers prefer low-power ultra-portable computers. As a result, mobile computing in general and Atom processors in particular are again at the center of the Intel Developer Forum.
"With an additional 1 billion connected computing users by 2015 and with more types of devices there is value in providing a common experience between the devices. Intel architecture delivers the right combination of performance and power that provides the foundation across all computing devices creating a virtual continuum of computing to enable this common user experience,” said David “Dadi” Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general manager of Intel architecture group.
Mr. Perlmutter kicked off the Intel Developer Forumwith a keynote during which he shared Intel's vision to make it possible for technology users to realize the potential for a common connected computing experience. Intel has a successful track record with its desktop, notebook and server microprocessors, but its platforms for ultra-mobile platforms yet have to prove that they can effectively compete against traditional ARM-based chips.
As the mobile Internet continues to spiral and touch more devices, Mr. Perlmutter cited the industry opportunity for a new generation of handhelds including tablets and smartphones. He detailed how Moore's Law, along with a combination of architecture, design and manufacturing process techniques, will help to move x86 architecture to dramatically lower power envelopes. At the same time the x86 architecture maintains the high performance for the ever-evolving Internet, media rich applications and multitasking capabilities on-the-go.
The Intel Atom processor uses a low power design giving it broad potential for a range of new market segment opportunities, from handhelds and netbooks to consumer electronic devices and embedded applications. The Intel Atom processor core has similar characteristics around ultra-low power, low cost, and small size, which can then be productized into SoCs for a range of segments based on targeted usages and I/O requirements.
The vice president also discussed Intel's forthcoming "Moorestown" platform, which is on track for introduction during the first half of this year. He stated that Intel has repartitioned its platform architecture and implemented a number of innovative techniques, such as next generation OS power management and distributed power gating, to achieve the improved performance and major reductions in idle and active power envelopes. To reinforce his point, he demonstrated up to 50 times platform idle power reduction, and up to 10 times power reduction in audio playback compared to Intel's first-generation "Menlow" platform.