Intel seems to be in no hurry to transition its Atom processors to the 22nm Tri-Gate manufacturing technology, which the company has announced just recently, as sources familiar with the company's plans have mentioned that Intel's first such design will be released only in 2013.
The new Atom micro-architecture is called Silvermont and will feature a system-on-a-chip design, which means that it will integrate all the chipset and graphics logic on the same silicon die, in order to reduce power consumption.
All the chips used in toady's smartphones and tablets are SoCs and Intel's recently released Z760 processor has also went this route.
Other details are rather scarce at this time, but Intel plans to built the chip using the 22nm production node, which means that it will also use the company's Tri-Gate technology.
This could be a major design win for Intel as Tri-Gate transistors can provide up to a 37% performance increase by using the same amount of power as planar transistors.
As a result, Intel can reduce the operating voltage, and thus the power consumption, of its 22nm chips by as much as 50%, when compared to 32nm planar CPUs.
Atom is in desperate need of some TLC as it relies on a pretty old architecture that has left the CPU struggling to compete with AMD's recently released Fusion APUs, from a performance point of view.
On the other hand, the high power consumption of Atom processors, when compared with SoCs built on the ARM architecture, prevent it from making its entrance in the highly lucrative mobile market.
In addition, Intel will face added competition once Windows 8 arrives, as Microsoft's operating systems will also be able to run on ARM chips, so manufacturers like Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, Marvell, and Nvidia will compete directly with the Santa Clara chip giant. (via CNet News)