updated 10:55 am EST, Mon December 26, 2011
Intel Centerton Atom chips seen coming in Q2
New details have emerged of a shift in Intel's Atom strategy as it backs off of netbooks. The previously hinted-at Centerton platform is now said by Digitimes to be refocused on network-attached storage (NAS) hubs for the home and basic servers. It should be an all-in-one, system-on-a-chip design using a modern 32-nanometer process; past tips have pointed to it supporting 64-bit software and single-stick 8GB memory while running at 1.6GHz.
Power efficiency would be the centerpiece, even relative to other Atom chips, at about 5W to 8W of thermal peak power.
If accurate, the roadmap would have Centerton-based chips arriving in spring.
The tips suggested that Centerton was a reaction to poor sales of the current Cedar Trail-based Atom N2600 and N2800 chips intended for netbooks. Intel won't confirm the new Atom's performance until its results are posted in January, but it has regularly seen the revenue from Atoms fall in 2011. Tablets now outsell netbooks and are in many cases led by iPads, some of which are being bought by those either replacing a netbook or getting a tablet instead.