Fudzilla announced yesterday, via Engadget, that Intel’s dual core Atom processor will be released sometime in late September with full product launch sometime in the 4th quarter of 2008, mainly due to the CPU’s high demand. But what is special about Atom? And how will it be the new mobile CPU of future laptops and mobile devices? Hit the bump to read more about this wonderful product…
The Intel Atom is a CPU that has a niche in a new product called netbooks. Netbooks are like laptops, only cheaper, smaller (somewhere in the order of 7-10inch screens), have longer battery lives and can surf the web with wi-fi, however these netbooks lack raw computing power. In short, it is mainly used for people to surf the web, check email, and do minor word processing. It is great for road warriors, bloggers, or people who just have an addiction to online shopping, eBay, or email.
But how does the Atom fit into this netbook? Because of the netbook’s small size, there needs to be an even smaller processor that doesn’t produce a lot of heat. Laptops have been known to get really hot when under a lot of stress, but this isn’t the case for netbooks. Atoms only use passive cooling (no fans) which also makes the netbooks much lighter and have less moving parts (moving parts aren’t always the best when carrying your laptop from place to place).
Besides the Atom’s small CPU size, it also requires less electrical power, increasing battery life which has been of great importance recently. Netbooks now have the capacity to run over 5 hours on a single battery which is simply amazing. My laptop now won’t even make 2 hours! Even though it requires less power, the Atom has more than enough CPU speed to make up for it. Current processing speeds for the Atom range from 800MHz to 1.9GHz in a single core. Going back to my laptop, (which is not really mine and is 3 years old) it only has a 1.5GHz processor. So in theory, if my laptop were to have had an Atom, it would be faster and will last longer than the hour and a half my battery can supply me with.
Even more encouraging is the announcement of the dual-core Atom. Doubling the processing power for again, little additional heat and power (by the time the dual-core Atom is released, the power consumption could go down further). Not to mention that the price is reasonable (just less than double the cost of a single core Atom).
In the next few weeks, check back for my expose on netbooks, are they any better than laptops?content from single.php