We’d heard recently that Intel was stepping up the pace on development of new low power Atom chips, and now the company has confirmed that it hopes to launch 14nm Atom chips by 2013.
That means Intel will be releasing a new generation of Atom processor every year for the next three years, starting with the 32nm Cedar Trail platform launching this summer.
Next year we’ll see 22nm Atom chips, and the14nm chips will be available the year after. Shrinking the manufacturing process improves efficiency which allows chips to offer more power while using less energy. The upshot? You should get better performance and longer battery life.
Of course, this also means that any Atom-based notebook or tablet you buy this year will start looking old a lot sooner. But no matter what anyone tells you, a two-year old PC isn’t obsolete. It might just not be as shiny and new as the latest model.
Intel is also clearly targeting ARM-based chips with its Atom lineup. The company is touting a few new features in its Cedar Trail platform which make the chips sound a lot more like something you’d expect to find in a smartphone or tablet, including “Rapid Start” technology for fast resume, and “Smart Connect” technology which allows a device to stay “always updated” even while in standby.
Oh yeah, and Intel says Cedar Trail should offer more than 10 hours of battery life and weeks of standby — but that’s the kind of promise that requires the cooperation of PC makers since battery life also clearly depends on battery capacity. You’re not going to get 10 hours of run time out of a 12Whr battery, for instance.