×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Intel Introduces Atom Chips For New Devices

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-century-for-it dept.

Intel 50

angry tapir writes "Not only has Intel recruited another company to produce Atom CPUs, as covered earlier on Slashdot, the chipmaker also unveiled four Atom chips that will go into devices such as entertainment systems for cars, videoconferencing devices, robots and interactive kiosks. The Z500-series Atom processors are integrated chips the size of a penny that draw little power and do not require fans to operate. The chips draw 2.5 watts of power or less and run at speeds of between 1.10GHz and 1.6GHz. The chips offer integrated 2D and 3D graphics and will be manufactured using Intel's existing 45-nanometer process."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

50 comments

So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Hertz? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053149)

So, FINALLY, the range of 1.5Ghz to 3.0 Ghz CPU clock speed is just right that the chip manufacturers can stop the "speed war" and work on the "low power war"?
Is the only thing that is pushing faster speeds new OS releases from Microsoft?

No (3, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053331)

We are just now remembering that there are a multitude of applications where watts matter.

It's nice that Intel wants to help in this field also.

Re:No (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059555)

It's nice that Intel wants to help in this field also.

It seems mostly like Intel intends it to murder Geode. AMD announced the end of design for Geode products (we talked about it here) meaning that the top Geode performer is the LX 800. It's fanless at 500 MHz in environments up to 180 F. Geode LX 800 systems come in around 5 W TDP for processor+chipset, which includes integrated video, USB2, and ATA with UDMA. I have two (DT Research DT168 and WebDT 360) and am thinking about more (from PC Engines) but systems with these chips (theoretically) have the potential to deliver more processing power for the same price - based on what current Atom- and Geode-based systems cost.

Would not have phrased it so (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059873)

If AMD has abandoned the line.

There are some ARM products in the pipeline though... This may be a strategy to cap their high end, or at least fill the hole.

Or maybe like I said, it is about enabling us to do stuff because the hardware is capable and helping us explore the potentials of new technologies is part of their new perspective. That is what the CEO said, and I believe him.

Re:Would not have phrased it so (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27064717)

If AMD has abandoned the line.

Abandoned? They're still producing them in quantity. They're still useful.

Or maybe like I said, it is about enabling us to do stuff because the hardware is capable and helping us explore the potentials of new technologies is part of their new perspective. That is what the CEO said, and I believe him.

Well, I guess you should just go have a Coke and a smile, then.

Re:Would not have phrased it so (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27072397)

Abandoned? They're still producing them in quantity. They're still useful.

What happens to tech lines that don't continue to improve?

AMD announced the end of design for Geode products

So it's over. I have a huge rack of stuff like this I keep around for its general utility or because it's irreplaceable. You just can't get Parallax USB servo controllers [parallax.com] any more [sigh]. But once they say they're done advancing the design, it's no longer interesting from a new developments point of view. It's abandoned. Eventually somebody will come out with a design that has some similar features plus a few new and interesting ones. Sales will dwindle and they'll wind up on the remainders rack at shops like All Electronics [allelectronics.com], but only now and then. And then they're gone.

It's the circle of liiiiife.

Re:So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Her (2, Insightful)

von_rick (944421) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053365)

There will be need for high clock speeds in some applications, while there will be a need for low power consumption in other applications. There will always be a competition in both those areas. But at present it seems that there is more requirement for power efficient processors because of rise in cell phones and hand held devices like internet tablets and PSPs and so on. The demand for high speed is in fields that are computationally intensive and oftentimes memory intensive.

Re:So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27055879)

They will likely continue down the path of CPUs/chipsets conserving like modern cars: cylinder deactivation to save fuel, while the power is still there when you need it.

Turning off integrated WiFi and Bluetooth is the most common, but we've seen on-demand 3D graphics and low-power monitor modes on netbooks as well. Processors with variable clock speeds and voltages are possible now, as well as multi-core processors that shut down cores when not needed. This will likely be the model for the future.

The only place we won't see on-demand capabilities is where the requirements of the hardware (such as size, heat, cost, etc) prevent the addition of extra cores or integrated features, or the requirements for the device are fixed at a low spec.

Re:So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Her (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054865)

Finally? Have you not been paying attention for years?

Hiding your post history here, The End of Days? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27092195)

See subject & URL below: I suspect you did that after you admit you use multiple registered accounts here to mod yourself up & make it appear that you have the backing of others here in your postings, and you are now trying to hide that evidence. Evidence of that? Read here -> http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1147437&cid=27056793 [slashdot.org] because that makes you a total loser The End of Days, rotflmao, and now everyone here knows it and should know it.

Re:So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Her (1)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27055883)

The ever escalating frequency wars ended about 4 or 5 years ago. Welcome back. From where rock you were hiding under. ;)

Re:So, we've finally given up on the Mega-Giga Her (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059507)

To be fair, the core wars heated up just as the megahertz wars were winding down, so he might have been in a refugee camp all this time.

Frost pist! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053161)

ffrroooooooooooost pissssssssssssst!

Applications (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053189)

These can be implanted in your head like Dr. Baltars mind control chip.

Re:Intel Introduces Atom Chips For New Devices (1)

ipsender (727730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053213)

Still 10 billion shipments behind ARM.

Re:Intel Introduces Atom Chips For New Devices (4, Interesting)

pslam (97660) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053293)

Still 10 billion shipments behind ARM.

And 3 orders of magnitude short of ARM's power consumption.

Re:Intel Introduces Atom Chips For New Devices (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053887)

The CPU only using 2.5W is already quite nice, but Intel doesn't want Atom chips to be used in "nice" computers seemingly, and we're stuck using crappy old chipsets with 20W+ power consumption with them.

VIA Nano is nicer seemingly, just too bad you can't actually buy it anywhere.

Re:Intel Introduces Atom Chips For New Devices (1)

psavo (162634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27056601)

2.5W for cpu and 15W or so for chipset to get access to memory/etc. So not even in the ballpark.

Penny (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053215)

Australian, British, Canadian, Irish, pre-decimal OR actually not a penny at all but a US cent?

Re:Penny (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053333)

According to Google definition search... [google.com]

[...]
* a coin worth one-hundredth of the value of the basic unit
wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn [princeton.edu]

Both?

Re:Penny (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053449)

Thanks, but I think you missed the point.

This slashdot post has currency in it to indicate scale.

Avoid using objects such as coins for scale, as they will require people unfamiliar with them to look up the dimensions or guess, both of which defeat the purpose of the object in the first place. Coins are particularly bad as they can reinforce a geographical bias.

Ideally, a slashdot post should include SI/metric units, as they are the most commonly used worldwide.

Re:Penny (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054907)

Ideally, people would realize that Slashdot caters to a US audience [slashdot.org]. Realistically, people will continue to complain into the void.

I saw your posting history and found something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27085393)

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1147437&cid=27056793 [slashdot.org]

The End of Days admits he uses multiple registered accounts to mod "the End of Days" up so he can "support himself" and to also do the same to mod others down and then using ac posts to bother them more. What a loser.

Re:Penny (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 5 years ago | (#27068741)

Avoid using objects such as coins for scale, as they will require people unfamiliar with them to look up the dimensions or guess, both of which defeat the purpose of the object in the first place. Coins are particularly bad as they can reinforce a geographical bias.

Ideally, a slashdot post should include SI/metric units, as they are the most commonly used worldwide.

no, this is slashdot. We use units such as VW Beetles and Libraries of Congress.

Re:Penny (1)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053443)

Good question. I suppose you could realize that Intel is an American company and assume it's an American cent... but the article is from an Australian site - so who knows!

Get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27055683)

This is a US site. Get over it. You knew exactly what was meant.

Looks good (3, Interesting)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053287)

I remember going to an Intel job fair back in late 2005. During the fair, Intel told people that we are no longer in a day and age where everyone wants the fastest processor possible; for most computing tasks, the processors we have are fast enough and people are more interested in something that is inexpensive and lightweight.

Indeed, the Intel atom is a good deal faster than the original Cray.

I feel Windows XP is Microsoft's last release where they made improvements to the operating system that significantly affected the end-user's experience; it was a version of Windows with real memory protection. People's opposition to Microsoft basically shoving Vista down people's throat (however, one can easily buy XP by doing an appropriate shopping.google.com search [google.com]) is well-justified. Vista doesn't really offer anything that XP doesn't have. [1]

I don't think the ARM processor is going to be real competition. Right now, a netbook can be had for as little as $200 (I have seen Dell have their low-end Linux Mini 9 on sale for $200 twice in the last month); the main expense with a netbook is the case, the screen, and the keyboard; the processor is not a significant expense. Nor is Windows XP, which Microsoft is making available for $40-$50 to netbook OEMs (and is forced to continually make available because of competition from Linux)

- Sam

[1] ClearType support for XP is a free download from Microsoft, along with the Vista fonts. Anyway, I don't like ClearType myself; I think Verdana is the perfect screen font and my eyes are trained to look at Verdana without anti-aliasing on the screeen.

Re:Looks good (1)

pslam (97660) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054129)

Cost is only half the issue here. Power consumption is the other half. Even the current Atom offerings are absurdly more power hungry than your average system-on-chip ARM, and by absurdly I mean 100-1000 times more at "near-idle" tasks.

I think you also need to factor in that most SoC ARM solutions are extremely integrated. I would be very surprised if you can find an Atom design that's cheaper.

With any luck one of the major manufacturers will get over their fears and just ship a modern ARM Linux based netbook and settle this matter at last.

Re:Looks good (1, Interesting)

Ex-Linux-Fanboy (1311235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054491)

With any luck one of the major manufacturers will get over their fears and just ship a modern ARM Linux based netbook and settle this matter at last.

For this to be possible, I think we will need someone to figure out how to reduce the cost of a netbook to $100. Right now, it looks like the Intel Atom per-unit cost is $50; the lowest-price netbook is $200 so that gets the price down to $160, assuming someone can make the ARM chipset for $10. To further reduce the cost, we'll probably have to replace the 1024x600 screen with a 640x480 screen and make the unit something akin to a glorified calculator.

I think the average netbook user is simply unwilling to use Linux (I'll bet at least 1/2 of the low-end Linux netbooks are promptly reformatted with a pirated copy of Windows), so the system will have to be significantly cheaper for people to try something that's not Windows.

- Sam

Re:Looks good (3, Interesting)

Kegetys (659066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054671)

> Cost is only half the issue here. Power consumption is the other half. Even the current Atom offerings are absurdly more power hungry than your average system-on-chip ARM, and by absurdly I mean 100-1000 times more at "near-idle" tasks.

Indeed - I would happily pay more for an ARM SoC based "netbook" than an Atom based one, simply because of the extra freedom the low idle power consumption would give me. I have both an Atom based netbook (Acer Aspire One) and an ARM based internet tablet (Nokia N810). The Acer with its stock ~23Wh battery can do a bit over 2 hours of "desktop" use and maybe 3 hours of idle time. Because of this every time I want to use it, I need to wait for it to boot up which takes a significant amount of time*.

Compare that to the N810, which can do 5-6 hours of use with its tiny ~6Wh battery and about 6-7 days of idle time. This means I dont ever need to bother turning it off or on, it is always ready to be used at any time. I can pick it up from the table, tap the screen and I can immediately begin browsing the web for example. When I'm done I just put it back, no need to turn anything off.

Now the N810 of course is overall much much slower than the Acer (400MHz TI OMAP processor vs the Acer's 1.6GHz Atom), but you could quadruple its power use and it would still wipe the floor with the Atom. Give it a battery as big as as the Acer and it would propably go on for weeks of random daily use without needing a charge.

* I can use suspend as well, but even waking up from it takes a while and when suspended it still seems to eat the battery at a good rate. Not to mention it cannot do any background tasks such as incoming email notification when suspended.

Re:Looks good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27058031)

I have both an Atom based netbook (Acer Aspire One) and an ARM based internet tablet (Nokia N810). The Acer with its stock ~23Wh battery can do a bit over 2 hours of "desktop" use and maybe 3 hours of idle time. Because of this every time I want to use it, I need to wait for it to boot up which takes a significant amount of time*.

Compare that to the N810, which can do 5-6 hours of use with its tiny ~6Wh battery and about 6-7 days of idle time.

While I assume you're correct that the internet tablet packs more hours into a smaller battery, note that the netbook you're comparing it to is known to be one of the worst netbooks as far as battery life. It has a 3-cell battery instead of 6, and the 3-cell battery it uses is one of the worst 3 cell batteries. Good quality 6-cell batteries in other (also Atom-based) netbooks last 6-8 hours.

Re:Looks good (1)

Kegetys (659066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27058355)

> Good quality 6-cell batteries in other (also Atom-based) netbooks last 6-8 hours.

Of course you can always throw in a bigger capacity battery but that's not the point. How big of a battery would you need to get 7 days of standby time from a typical Atom netbook? With todays battery technology I doubt it would be possible at all in what I'd call the "netbook" form factor. With a low power ARM you wouldn't _need_ a big, heavy and expensive battery, even the Aspire One's by-x86-standards low capacity (and cheap!) battery would propably be enough to get something like 7-10 hours of use and a week of standby time from it.

The atom isn't enough. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053515)

And now for less power hungry north and south bridges. Oh, and a decent instruction set. But intel hasn't been able to do that since the 8008, and hasn't needed to thanks to matching ineptness from a certain other big company. Oh well.

Re:The atom isn't enough. (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053719)

Back when they were producing XScale/StrongARM, they had a decent instruction set (and lower power usage).

For Robots? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27053561)

Who in their right mind would develop robotics on x86?

There are a million different processors that would be much better suited for it.

Re:For Robots? (2, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27053781)

Super custom robotics, probably not. Ditto size, weight, and power constrained systems. If, though, your industrial robot is already plugging into 3 phase to power its mechanical aspects, a few extra watts doesn't much matter, and being able to have that machine vision binary you licenced Just Work would be handy...

So called "Industrial single board computers" running x86s have been around since the days when x=3(probably since the days when x=80; but I don't know), so there are clearly applications for them, including industrial automation that would be classified as "robotics.

I'm guessing, though, that the next Mars rover, or hypothetical Moon-dozer will not be running Atom.

Re:For Robots? (2, Interesting)

Klintus Fang (988910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27056103)

I too would like to see the CISC instruction sets of our desktop PC's replaced with a simpler RISC architecture. At the same time though I am beginning to realize that the CISC/RISC question is one of aesthetics. Nobody has ever really proven that it makes any difference, and the long standing success of the x86 architecture (not even Intel was able to kill it [...Itanium...]) suggest maybe it really doesn't matter.

Re:For Robots? (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 5 years ago | (#27068173)

My opinion:

Yes, the x86 architecture is aging in "inferior" in its original design to a more "pure" architecture like PowerPC.

But in the end the realities of economics prevail - the original x86 architecture is old, but it has had billions of dollars per year pumped into live support, so most of the architectural flaws have had workarounds. (esp. with the advent of x86-64).

The writing has been on the wall for PowerPC ever since Apple ditched them (note that of the two major manufacturers of general-purpose PPC processors, PASemi was bought by Apple who promptly killed off the PPC product lines, and Freescale posted significant losses last year I believe. PPC still has a solid niche in "special purpose" CPUs such as for gaming consoles and NAS systems, but for general purpose computing it is dying.

BeagleBoard v2.0? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27054843)

Came perilously close to buying a beagleboard [beagleboard.org] this morning for a roll-it-yourself home media server (NAS / uPnP and so on), and just generally playing around with, when I discovered that it doesn't have onboard networking.

I don't want to have to hang a USB network dongle on it and then deal with the driver issues, not to mention that 1Gbps networking would be nice and the 480mpbs of USB seriously crimps that already (though then again storage would be on USB as well, so I suppose it wouldn't be a real limit).

Anyone know any competitive products that feature good performance and onboard networking...and maybe eSata (and maybe a h.264 processor chip along with 1080p functionality? Maybe a kitchen sink)? The BeagleBoard looks 90% there, but for toying around uses the lack of a network port just kills it for me.

(Sidenote: I have a DS106j NAS and it is a great device but is brutally underpowered. Despite heralding its 1Gbps network connection, the thing can't push 1/4 of the speed of 100Mbps networking, which makes it very slow for larger files and media browsing)

Re:BeagleBoard v2.0? (2, Informative)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27055361)

Via's Epia boards (mini-itx, nano-itx, pico-itx, ...) probably do all of what you want, as well as coming in a range of sizes from small to crazy tiny, but you'll have to sort out an OS and software yourself. Being x86 they can of course run Linux and Windows.

Re:BeagleBoard v2.0? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27059767)

Since I was on the kick, your mention of mini-itx had me doing a bit of looking, and I ended up getting a D945GCLF2 (an intel all-in-one MB with onboard 1Gbps ethernet and a dual-core Atom 330). It will be interesting to see how useful of a NAS I can make that into.

Re:BeagleBoard v2.0? (2, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27060389)

"It will be interesting to see how useful of a NAS I can make that into."

The downside of the Atom motherboard for NAS is only two SATA ports. Mine is working fine as a combined SDTV MythTV box and 24/7 web/file server, but I think that eventually I'm going to have to replace it with a low-power AMD motherboard and CPU so I can add more hard drives and RAID them.

Re:BeagleBoard v2.0? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#27067053)

The downside of the Atom motherboard for NAS is only two SATA ports. Mine is working fine as a combined SDTV MythTV box and 24/7 web/file server, but I think that eventually I'm going to have to replace it with a low-power AMD motherboard and CPU so I can add more hard drives and RAID them.

I almost went the route of making this a media center as well, however I use the Xbox 360 for that right now (in addition to a BR player), and held myself back from upgrading. However next will be a media center, where I'll get the board for the Core 2 with the onboard hardware h.264 and so on decoding (the DG45FC). This one I just plan on using as a hidden away little NAS / backup to a remote device / play around device, so it's copiously powered for that, and I only plan on using one HD for it, and the possibility of a USB one for local backups (wish it had an external eSATA, but alas. Maybe a cheap add-in PCI card).

Re:BeagleBoard v2.0? (1)

default luser (529332) | more than 5 years ago | (#27067711)

Good call. A lot of people jump on these extremely-low-power hobby boards, and forget they're also extremely-low-performance. DMA helps a lot, but you really need a strong processor to move data at 1 Gbps. Several steps of sending ethernet data are handled by the processor, especially with typical low-end GbE chipsets.

The Atom dual-core will make you much happier than an anemic Via C7.

not such a big deal (1)

scatterbrained (144748) | more than 5 years ago | (#27055839)

Looking at what they're doing, it doesn't look like these are really new parts, just requalified for an extended temp. range and put in a package that is more robust and less expensive to use.

The rise of the cheap ARM linux netbook (2, Interesting)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 5 years ago | (#27055939)

I think the rise of the cheap ARM linux netbook is something that scares both Intel and Microsoft. As consumers we will be the winners of the resulting battles. Personally, I can't wait for a linx netbook with a ARM length battery life. Just don't see what the Wintel world could offer me that could possibly compete. Maybe MS could try WinCE on ARM, but that won't have the world of software ARM linux has. If all the software is portable you can go for what ever processor architecture best for the job.

Processor, yeah... but the chipset ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27056891)

The processor draws "only" 2.5W but can you explain to me why it needs to come with a power-hungry chipset that still needs a fan ?!?

this is not news (1)

simonckenyon (791521) | more than 5 years ago | (#27062107)

i remember reading about these chips on wikipedia recently. this got me searching and i found an article on anandtech.com from last april describing these chips. so how is this news?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...