After Intel launched its low-power, low-cost Atom processors in 2008 the chip family sort of stagnated for a while. There wasn’t really that much difference between an Atom chip from 2009 and one from 2011 in terms of performance. Things changed with the introduction of Intel’s Bay Trail architecture in 2013.

Low-cost notebooks and tablets with Atom, Celeron, and Pentium chips based on Bay Trail technology offer long battery life and surprisingly capable performance.

Next year things could get even better with the introduction of Cherry Trail.

atom roadmap

Intel says its Cherry Trail chips will be based on a 14nm process, which offers better efficiency than the 22nm process used to manufacture Bay Trail processors.

The new chips should also offer twice the 3D graphics performance. At the same time, they should use less power, or at least offer a better performance-per-watt ratio than today’s chips.

From here on out Intel plans to update its Atom processors once a year, much the way it does with its higher-end Core family of chips.

Intel had initially hoped to ship its first Cherry Trail chips by the end of 2014, but it looks like that release has been pushed back to 2015.

For now if you want an Android or Windows tablet with an affordable, low-power Intel chip your best bet is still get a model with a Bay Trail processor (or maybe a Moorefield chip if you’re looking at Android tablets). You’ll still get long battery life and graphics performance that rivals or bests what’s available from many ARM-based processors. It’s just that next year’s models will be even better.

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11 replies on “Intel Atom “Cherry Trail” 14nm chips coming in 2015”

  1. I guess performance increases are slowing down for Atoms too. From Sandy Bridge to Haswell, performance hasn’t increased much for the Core chips. For both their Atom and Core lines, it seems Intel is focusing on power consumption instead of raw performance.

    Too bad they don’t really have much competition in high end CPUs anymore. Most of their competition is in the low power devices (ie. smartphones, tablets and uselessly thin notebooks) where performance isn’t as big a concern for the target audience/use cases.

    That’s kind of why we’ve been looking into GPGPU and FPGA processing now because these Xeons and -E chips are becoming a bottleneck.

  2. i’m not that looking forward to buy these new intel SoCs
    not because i think they wouldnt be sufficiant, but more because what i currently own (z3740 in my Asus T100) does keep up with my needs pretty well.
    What do i need? CPU/GPU fast enough for SSH/Browsing (check), as much RAM as i can get (uhh.. nope) and much space to store my data on (well, i inserted a 64GB micro-SD, so its bearable, but… fuck)

    The CPU/GPU-Part wasn’t the thing slowing me down since i bought my Toshiba AC100. What i really need is faster/more Storage and more RAM.
    But noone seems willing to supply this with sub-1K€-Devices. :-/

    1. Cherry Trail is a different market segment from Bay Trail. It’s more for phones than tablets. The node shrink focuses more on power efficiency than performance increase.

  3. spent 5 hours in the cherryview validation lab today. a very good little soc. sips electricity with solid performance. its no llama mountain, but should allow very inexpensive products.

  4. So, no performance increase on the CPU side. It’s the N450 all over again. 🙁

    1. No, the CPU is at least Clocked up to three hundred MHz faster, with possibly faster average base clock, but the big improvement is just going to be the GPU… possibly more than 3x improvement because they’re increasing the max number of Execution Units in the GPU from 4 to 16, as well as moving from Gen 7 GPU to Gen 8… mind that’s where Intel is really behind compared to competition in mobile devices…

      Besides, this is just the Tick and the Tock isn’t coming until either the end of 2015 or early 2016 with the Broxton update that is suppose to more than double both CPU and GPU performance…

        1. Crappy attitude aside, sure… If you don’t need anything that’s both affordable and mobile in the next three years then sure… Wait all you want…

        2. sure if you wait till 2017, you will get much better cpu which will be more efficient and smaller

    2. We still have some Atom D2700 boxes ticking along just fine. Over 3x the clock rate of the older N4xx processors, and dual-core with hyperthreading. Long in the tooth now but still quite serviceable VESA-mounted to monitors as basic workstations and they work ok as small servers too.

      1. You should upgrade when this becomes available.

        Large perf and perf/watt increase over your systems and 10nm being 2+ years away.

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