Intel plans to shift the way it makes at least some of its Celeron and Pentium chips. For the past few years Intel has used those brands to sell low-end processors based on the same architecture as its higher-end Core chips. But soon you’ll start to find Celeron and Pentium chips based on the same technology used in the company’s Bay Trail processors.
While the company won’t call these chips “Atom” processors, they’ll be using the same technology as Intel’s chips for smartphones and tablets.
That explains the recent introduction of new Celeron chips with Intel Atom-like names.
It’s not yet clear if this means every upcoming Celeron and Pentium chip will use Silvermont technology. It’s still possible we could see some based on Haswell (or Ivy Bridge or Sandy Bridge) architecture used in higher-performance chips.
Intel has said that its Bay Trail chips would offer twice the performance of earlier Atom processors. The company will also offer quad-core versions which should offer better support for multi-tasking and mult-threaded tasks. Eventually we could see Silvermont-based chips with up to 8 cores.
The 22nm chips are also more efficient, which could lead to longer battery life.
Until Intel releases more details about the new chips though, it’ll be tough to say whether new Silvermont-based Celeron chips will offer better performance than you can get from Sandy Bridge-based chips that are already on the market such as the Intel Celeron 847 or Celeron 887.
Intel has also been reducing power consumption in its higher-end Core chips, so it’s likely that a notebook or tablet with a Core i3 or Core i5 Haswell processor won’t actually use much more power than a model with an Atom-based Celeron or Pentium chip. But those models will likely offer much better all-around performance and much higher price tags.
Meanwhile chip maker AMD is hoping its new Temash chips including the AMD A4-1250 and AMD A16-1450 will compete with Intel’s upcoming Celeron and Pentium processors in the mid and low-end laptop and tablet space.