Intel Atom heir in rumor mill upgrade
Faster, smaller, cooler, cheaper
More snippets of news emerged today about Intel's upcoming replacement to its low-power Atom processor, set to launch in the second half of this year.
As we reported last September  and updated last week , the Atom heir, code-named Pineview, will be available in both single-core and dual-core versions, each with an on-chip memory controller and integrated graphics processor (IGP), and each employing hyperthreading to nearly double each core's performance - theoretically.
Today the usually reliable Taipei news service, DigiTimes, reported  that Pineview will be manufactured using a 45-nanometer process (no surprise there), will have a clock speed higher than the Atom N270 's 1.67GHz, and that even though the IGP will be based on Intel's existing GMA 950 , its own clock will increase from the current 133MHz in the Atom implementation to 200MHz.
More interesting are new details about Pineview's real-estate needs and the power-miserliness we discussed earlier .
Thanks to what DigiTimes confirms as "built-in northbridge functions, including a memory controller and IGP," Pineview will require a mere 773 square millimeters of motherboard space, down 60 percent from the 2174 square millimeters needed by the Atom N270 and its support chips.
In addition - and despite the increase of the memory controller's clock from 533MHz to 667MHz - Pineview will have a lower maximum TDP (thermal design power, a gauge of a processor's power needs and, therefore, heat dissipation) than the N270: 7 watts instead of 8, with average power descending from 2.5 to 2 watts.
Finally, DigiTimes says that Pineview will have a four-layer construction. That's down from Atom's six layer, a change that should reduce costs.
So, in sum: If DigiTimes is to be believed, Pineview is shaping up to be faster, smaller, less power-hungry, and cheaper than Intel's current fast, small, power-miserly, and inexpensive Atom. ®