Intel to unveil ‘Silverthorne’ processor this week

“Intel Corp. will unveil the world’s biggest commercial microprocessor as well as its smallest and lowest-power X86 chip to date at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco this week,” Rick Merritt reports for EE Times.

“Hoping to enable a new class of PC-compatible handheld devices, Intel will describe Silverthorne, a full X86 CPU that can handle active work at power consumption levels as low as 600 milliwatts. The device will eventually hit 2-GHz clock rates at its maximum 2-watt dissipation, thanks in part to Intel’s latest 45-nanometer process technology,” Merritt reports.

“While Silverthorne makes strides ratcheting down the power of an X86 processor, it is still a long way from integrated cellular chips that aim to deliver PC-like functions to pocket-size communicators. For instance, at the same ISSCC session, Texas Instruments will describe a cellular chip capable of decoding MPEG-4 video streams that includes an 840-MHz ARM11 to run applications, a 480-MHz TI C55x DSP core to handle 2G and 3G baseband comms, and a 240-MHz image processor,” Merritt reports.

“The chip, a custom design for a cell phone maker expected to ship it in handsets this year, consumes 500 mW peak and for some cell phone apps as little as 100 to 250 mW. In deep-sleep mode, it dissipates microwatt range,” Merritt reports.

“Intel is not aiming Silverthorne at smart phones, however, but at a class of devices somewhat bigger and more powerful,” Merritt reports.

“Whether the new systems that Intel has roughly described as ultramobile PCs and mobile Internet devices take root remains to be seen. Analysts expect the market for smart phones–of which the ARM-based Apple iPhone is now the poster child–to grow from fewer than 100 million units this year to more than 400 million units by the end of 2010. ‘It’s not clear if Windows makes it down into this [ultramobile] form factor successfully,’ said Brookwood. ‘The initial ultramobile PCs from Samsung and OQO have not set the world on fire,'” Merritt reports.

Full article here.

Windows doesn’t make it down into ultramobile form factor successfully, but, as proven by the success of iPhone and iPod touch, Apple’s Mac OS X does; as those devices go even beyond the point of what’s normally described as “ultramobile.” Apple’s Mac OS X has incredible range; as usual, Windows cannot compete.


  1. Someone should investigate these ‘rollout’ announcements that always create the maximum marketing opportunity for the capitalists.

    Apple and Intel are conducting the very same scam that has long dominated the automobile business – instant obsolescence – by timing the new models to create the greatest buyers’ remorse.

    We should be getting the best, fastest, most stable technology available – not holding it back to make us accumulate multiple versions of the same product.

    Caveat emptor! Be smart. Don’t fall for this shameful practice.

  2. Yes Scam Alert, progress really should be banned so we don’t get disappointed…

    I can see Apple having a range of various sized devices from the iPhone to the sub-notebook and a few in between them too. It will surely be the first to be able to capitalise on these chips.

  3. Yes, these evil corporations should stop making newer, better products. And if they insist on making them, they should instantly teleport the newer versions into the consumer’s already-purchased product, because it’s just bloody evil to make anyone live with what they already agreed was a fair price for a product. It should be better!

    Welcome back, Peterson / aka / Reality Check / aka / I’ve forgotten all the other aliases you’ve used

  4. People complained when Apple’s PPC-based computers did not advance quickly in speed. People continue to complain even as Apple releases products based on custom Intel chips before everyone else.

    Complaining is infectious and there is no known antidote other than a good attitude and a smile.

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