Over the past few decades, peop

le have gotten used to computer chips getting faster and faster. And so it’s not surprising that some folks expect the next generation of Intel’s Atom processor to be faster than the version available today, and for the model coming after that to be even faster. But that’s kind of not the point of the Atom line. And so I’m not surprised to see that Fudzilla is reporting that the Intel Atom Cedar Trail platform which is due to hit the streets in 2011 won’t be much faster than the Atom Pine Trail platform due out early next year. Which is to say, you shouldn’t expect much of a performance boost over what you see in Intel Atom powered netbooks today.

In fact, according to Fudzilla, Intel reps are saying the Cedarview chipset will only be about 5-10% faster than the upcoming Intel Atom Pineview chipset. They will, however, use less power. The goal for the Cedar Trail platform is to produce a chipset that uses less than 10W for the whole platform including the CPU, graphics, and memory controller.

And that’s really the whole point of the Atom platform: To provide decent performance with a low power draw. If you want a faster computer, you can certainly get one. It just won’t have an Atom chip and it will probably cost more than a typical netbook.

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10 replies on “Rumor: Intel Atom Cedar Trail chips won’t be much faster”

  1. Intel seems pretty far behind in terms of power usage. Their Atom Z-series platform was already under *5 watts* using licensed hardware from Imagine Technologies. Now they are back to their own hardware and shooting for *10 watts*. And not giving much of a performance boost.

    Intel will still stay on top of the netbook world, but only because their processors run Windows (x86 architecture). However, things might change if people get used to accessing the internet on their smartphones and realize that they don’t really need Windows anymore. Don’t hold your breath, however…

    1. The difference is that the Atom Z5xx and N2xx processors use 2.5W or less of
      power… but that’s *just* the processor. The next gen chips will
      incorporate the memory and graphics functions onto the same chip, while
      reducing overall power consumption.

      1. I don’t mean to argue, but I believe you are wrong about the *Z-series* processors. The Z520 and Z530 processors use 2 watts and the entire US15W chipset uses just 2.5 watts. TDP is 4.5 watts at 100% load.

        Remember that the US15W chipset (with GMA 500 graphics) is a cell phone technology licensed by Intel from Image Technologies. It’s the same graphics processor architecture used in the Iphone 3G and other devices.

  2. This is why CULV and even Snapdragon machines will wipe out the super slow Atom out of the market. Snapdragon has much better battery life even with a 2 cell.

  3. I thought this is well-known? It’s not like the N450 specs haven’t been leaked all over the blogosphere. Intel’s segmentation strategy is for the Atom (ergo, netbook platform) to excel in battery life at the 10″ slot. They need to do this to ward off any ARM incursion. Once ARM products hit the market in earnest, I expect the Atom to also be driven down in price. The Atom has a lot of margins, so it will be an uphill battle for ARM to gain share.

    Atom won’t get more powerful. “More CPU power in small package” is the province of the CULV.

  4. I thought this is well-known? It’s not like the N450 specs haven’t been leaked all over the blogosphere. Intel’s segmentation strategy is for the Atom (ergo, netbook platform) to excel in battery life at the 10″ slot. They need to do this to ward off any ARM incursion. Once ARM products hit the market in earnest, I expect the Atom to also be driven down in price. The Atom has a lot of margins, so it will be an uphill battle for ARM to gain share.

  5. Can I ask, what’s the typical power draw of a standard 10″ LCD screen? I ask as without knowing the drain of the other components it seems pointless to get too excited about any power drain decrease they achieve here.

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