updated 01:25 pm EST, Mon February 4, 2008
Intel Silverthorne Details
Intel today supplied additional information about its expected Silverthorne ultra-mobile processors. Speaking at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, the company has revealed that the 45 nanometer processor will not only be more power-efficient -- consuming between 0.5 and 2 watts at peak use -- but will also be fundamentally compatible with both newer and older technologies. Although far smaller, Silverthorne will share the same architecture as Core 2 chips. Programmers can write code for the common platform and know that it will scale down, Intel says.
Silverthorne also supports hyperthreading, a feature first launched with the Pentium 4 that permits more than one code thread to execute at the same time on a single core. This should replicate some of the performance normally reserved for multi-core processors despite the new Intel processor's current limitation to a single core.
The semiconductor firm has not supplied initial clock speeds or a formal name for Silverthorne, though it expects to ship the first processors in April or May along with the necessary Menlow platform. Future versions should scale up as high as 2GHz while still consuming as little as one watt of power.
No products have yet been announced that will use Silverthorne, although the technology is targeted at ultra-mobile PCs and even smaller mobile Internet devices (MIDs) that need more performance than smartphones but less performance and power use than notebooks. Rumors have also pointed to an Apple ultra-mobile device that would appear in a similar timeframe.