Intel’s current line of Atom processors are built using a 45 nanometer process. Those chips are pretty small, and the tiny scale actually helps them consume less energy than larger chips. But Intel is thinking smaller. Way smaller.
The next-generation of Atom chips is slated to shrink to 32nm, but the company is also planning on building 22nm and even 15nm Atom processors down the road.
It’ll probably be a few years before we see 15nm Intel Atom chips, but Intel showed off a chart at IDF this week indicating the plans for future development. One of the interesting things is that Intel seems to see opportunities for a larger number of chips. For instance, the chart shows 5 different chips in the Intel Atom N series space for the 15nm portion of the chart, but just one N series chip in the 45nm area. I wouldn’t put too much stock in that tidbit though, since Intel is actually currently offering at least 3 different N series chips, including the Atom N455, N475, and N550.