updated 08:05 am EDT, Fri March 23, 2012
Intel Valley View leaks in roadmap
Intel through a combination of a Linux driver posting by its own engineer Jesse Barnes, as well as roadmap presentations by Advantech PPT 1, PPT 2), has given a peek at a major upgrade to the Atom platform due in early 2013. The processor, Valley View, would run on a Balboa Pier chipset and improve both the baseline performance as well as visuals. Chips would carry as many as four cores, and the graphics would be the same as in Ivy Bridge, giving about a fourfold improvement over the existing Cedar View and Cedar Trail platforms.
The chip would be based on a 22-nanometer process like that of Ivy Bridge, and it would inherit some of the feature set. Valley View should be the first Atom chip to get native USB 3.0 support, and it will handle as much as 8GB of DDR3 memory, even with error correcting. Advantech's systems would be fanless, suggesting that the extra cores and graphics wouldn't output much more heat.
Jumping to four cores and faster graphics might be vital to keeping pace with ARM. As the likely main platform for many Windows 8 tablets, Valley View could both keep them running as quickly or faster than ARM equivalents and make them viable for a mild amount of gaming. [via Phoronix and The Verge]