updated 09:40 am EST, Tue November 4, 2008
Intel Menlow Refresh
Intel is developing an update to its Atom variants for handhelds that should arrive in just a few months, says an apparent tip from companies building mobile Internet devices, or MIDs. Known as the Menlow refresh for the processor platform's codename, the update would boost most of the line a speed grade upwards; the Z550 would clock higher than 1.83GHz, while the Z534 would escape the 1.6GHz speeds used by nearly all Atom computers. A Z515 would also bring clock speeds faster than 800MHz to the very smallest handhelds.
It's not known what other changes are slated for the reported processors, though all of their existing Z540, Z530 and Z500 equivalents are intended to consume some of the least power of the Atom lineup with power use just between 2.0 and 2.4 watts. The existing models are used occasionally in netbooks but are primarily meant for MIDs, which often have screens of around five inches and are focused on basic Internet access and media playback.
All of the updates if accurate would ship sometime in March and may represent some of the last updates to current Atom technology before the launch of Moorestown, a new architecture and manufacturing process combination that will improve performance further and create some processors efficient and small enough to be used in smartphones.