by Jim Harrison
Intel has announced the Silvermont micro-architecture for Atom CPUs with a 22 nm Tri-Gate SoC manufacturing process targeting low-power requirements in markets from smartphones to the data center. Silvermont is said to enable, on a variety of standard metrics, ~3x peak performance or the same performance at ~5x lower power over the current-generation Atom processor core. This means Atom is a serious contender in the portable/cellphone CPU market.
The Silvermont micro-architecture should show-up in products by the end of the year. It will also feature a new out-of-order execution engine that improves single-threaded performance, a new multi-core and system fabric architecture scalable up to eight cores and enabling higher bandwidth, lower latency and more efficient out-of-order support for a more balanced and responsive system.
It also has new IA instructions for enhanced virtualization and security management capabilities and enhanced power management capabilities including a new intelligent burst technology, more low-power states and a wider dynamic range of operation.