Intel Announces 14nm, 22nm Atom Chips Officially

Intel to Accelerate Atom Roadmap Ahead of Moore's Law

by Anton Shilov
05/17/2011 | 12:36 PM

Intel Corp. on Tuesday officially announced plans to release new Atom-based system-on-chip (SoC) designs at 32nm, 22nm and 14nm manufacturing nodes in the coming years. In order to expand its  presence on the ultra-mobile market, the company intends to speed up development of Atom SoCs.


In the next 36 months the world's largest maker of chips plans to release three major updates for its Atom family of solutions. The first one will be code-named Saltwell and will be made using 32nm process technology; the second is currently known as Silvermont and will be manufactured using 22nm/tri-gate fabrication processor; the third major improvement of the Atom has Airmont code-named and is aimed at 14nm fabrication process.

"We decided our road map is inadequate, and we needed to change the center point. [...] Atom designs will create a very compelling roadmap [that] doubles the pace of Moore's Law progress for the architecture," said Paul Otellini chief executive officer of Intel, during his keynote at the analyst day, reports EETimes web-site.

Intel generally wants to shift its design efforts from traditional mobile microprocessors with 35W~40W thermal design power to ultra-mobile SoCs with up to 15W power consumption for devices like netbooks that will be scaled down to meet requirements of tablets or smartphones.

"Our roadmap will enable thin-and-light devices at mainstream laptop prices. A tablet when want, a PC when you need it," said Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and general manager of Intel Architecture Group.

Previously Intel said that the first smartphones based on code-named Medfield SoC would be released in the second half of 2011. Unfortunately for Intel, Nokia Corp. dropped plans to release Intel- and MeeGo-powered smartphones. As a consequence, the first Intel-based smarpthones will only emerge in the first half of next year and it is unclear whether they will be based on Medefield or Saltwell SoC.

"We had been working with Nokia very closely almost exclusively, [so] we have freed up those people and turned that [design] into a reference design that we are shopping to a number of companies. Smartphones are an area of intense focus, we have new management in that area and we will be very successful in this area," Mr. Otellini reportedly indicated.