Intel Releases New Atom Chips; Teases With 22 nm Tri-Gate Atom SoC

Intel had a pretty significant announcement over at the Mobile World Congress 2013. Known by the Clovertrail+ codename, Intel announced the new range of Atom SoC chips for smartphones and tablets. Clovertrail SoCs will be available in three SKUs; the Atom Z2580, Z2560 and Z2520.

Based on 32 nm process, the processors have clock speeds up to 2.0 GHz, which is clock speed of the Atom Z2580. The new chips should bring notable improvement over the previous generation Medfield and Clovertrail processors with an extra Saltwell CPU core while having HyperThreading.

According to Intel the biggest improvement is the GPU. The chips come with the more powerful PowerVR SGX544MP2, instead of the previous SGX540. The Atom Z2580 runs at 2.0 GHz for the CPU and 533 MHz for the GPU, the Z2560 has 400 MHz lower CPU clock and 133 MHz lower GPU clock. The slowest SKU is the Atom Z2520, which runs at only 1.2 GHz with GPU clocked at 300 MHz.

The newly announced SoCs supports resolution up to 1,920 x 1,200. The memory interface in Clovertrail+ is the same, but clocked higher which means 2 x 32-bit LPDDR2 at 1,066MHz instead of 800MHz. Unfortunately, there is no LTE support. Some manufacturers already announced smartphones based on Clovertrail+, like Lenovo with its K900.

Along with 32 nm Atom processors, Intel teased with its third-generation 22nm tri-gate Atom SoC processor. With 22 nm tri-gate design, new Merrifield chips should significantly decrease power consumption. Although no official release date has been set, we should see 22 nm based devices by the second quarter of 2014.