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Intel Christens its Little Baby Chips ‘Atom’

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Intel Christens its Little Baby Chips ‘Atom’

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Oh, how cute! Intel is gonna to brand its itty-bitty sub-25mm Silverthorne and Diamondville chips, the smallest chips it’s ever built, “Atom.”

For perspective Intel says it would take 11 “Atoms” to cover the surface of an American penny.

And the Menlow platform that’s supposed to be the basis of all those little Internet-in-your-pocket “netbooks” (MIDs) that Intel is dreaming about is gonna be called “Intel Centrino Atom.”

The Diamondville Atom and its platform are bound for a new class of basic el cheapo Internet-centric “nettops” that are supposed to start appearing later this year for about $250, a reaction, you can be sure, to the $100 One Laptop Per Child.

Intel says the 45nm chips, described as a new microarchitecture, will still use the current Core 2 Duo instruction set, dissipate 0.6W-2.5W and clock in from 500MHz to 1.8GHz.

By comparison, the current mainstream mobile Core 2 Duos dissipate around 35W.

Intel is expecting Atom to – in its words – “ unleash new innovation across the industry” that keeps its coffers lined. The widgetry the chips produce is supposed to connect “the next billion people to the Internet.”

Lehman Brothers figures some of these newfangled gismos could cannibalize some of the mid-tier notebook market.

Besides the chip itself, the Intel Centrino Atom platform includes an integrated graphics chip and wireless.

Atom uses 47 million transistors.


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