DDR3-enabled, dual-core Atoms may launch soon

Who needs Core Mobile CPUs to be widely available when you can get new netbooks with slightly faster Atoms? All joking aside, DigiTimes reports that Intel is gearing up to introduce both DDR3-enabled versions of existing Atom chips and some new, dual-core Atom N500-series processors. Basing its predictions on “sources from notebook players,” the site forecasts the arrival of Atom N455 and N475 processors “shortly.”

We first heard about such products in December. Back then, the rumor was that they might launch during the first week of June at the Computex show in Taiwan. Beyond DDR3 memory support, the N455 and N475 should have the same specifications as the existing N450 and N470 Atoms. That would mean a 1.66GHz clock speed for the former, 1.83GHz for the latter, and a single core with two threads and 512KB of L2 cache for both.

DigiTimes goes on to say Intel will reveal details about dual-core Atom N500-series processors in June. An Asus netbook based on one of those dual-core chips will be out in the third quarter with a price tag of around $575 U.S., the site adds.

These changes to the netbook-focused Atom N series will likely be mirrored in the nettop-oriented Atom D series. Earlier this month, we learned that DDR3-enabled variants of Atom D420 and D520 are on the way in the form of the the Atom D425 and D525.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    Well in the specific case you mentioned it’s not really Intel trying to do anything but Asus. Asus has taken the ‘throw crap at a wall’ approach to their product lineup for a long time now and a near $600 Atom system is one of their high-end ones. All Intel is trying to do is what they’ve always done and that is not advance performance so much but advance performance/watt, ultimately making Atom in to the low-power x86 chip. Nettops and netbooks were never really the ultimate goal, just a step along the way.

    • thermistor
    • 13 years ago

    #20…thank you for the details; I was unsure about how much frequency really impacts power consumption, but thought it minimal – it is not.

    So, #5’s original assertion is essentially correct…bummer.

    • nafhan
    • 13 years ago

    Really, $600? You can grab a dual core CULV /[

    • satsuper
    • 13 years ago

    Except DDR3 doesn’t increase the frequency of the RAM chips it just does more transfers per clock so if the frequency doesn’t increase and the voltage has been lowered then there are some obvious power savings.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 13 years ago

    I want an 8 core Atom with 24MB L3!

    • NeelyCam
    • 13 years ago

    Screw this; give me a 32nm Atom clocked at 2.66GHz, and we’ll talk.

    • NeelyCam
    • 13 years ago

    Guys, you’re thinking of what the power consumption is for active, switching logic circuitry. The equation doesn’t hold when things are idling, and most certainly doesn’t hold for analog circuits.

    • NeelyCam
    • 13 years ago

    No, the voltage matters a whole lot. When DDR memory isn’t accessed, voltage determines the power consumption.

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 13 years ago

    You have to pay something for a nice ass… Be it wife or animal.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    “If you drop voltage, you drop power.”

    And if you increase frequency, you increase power. You can’t have your cake and eat it too with DDR2 vs. DDR3.

    DDR3 is more efficient because it can do more work with the same amount of power. However, no existing specification would make it actually save power compared to the low speed DDR2 that netbooks use.

    Higher efficiency and literal power savings are two very different things.

    “Frequency will have little to do with overall power consumption versus a substantial drop in operating voltage.”

    But it’s not a substantial drop in voltage, and it’s potentially a very large increase in clock speed.

    Just fiddling with clock speeds within the JEDEC standards on one module of DDR2 can change the idle power several watts at the wall. This isn’t like a CPU where adding a few hundred MHz could be a few percent difference.

    With RAM, a few hundred MHz difference may *[

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    If the clock speed is twice as high, it doesn’t matter if the voltage is slightly lower.

    They could very well use out of spec, slowed down DDR3, but then why would the DDR3 memory controller have caused the TDP level to increase?

    They’d be smothering us with figures of increased battery life if that were to be expected. They want to sweep this under the rug because it’s more about pricing than anything else.

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    I should. problem is that i’m not tough enough. my wife is like a big fat mad cow. if she gets angry and charges, i dont want to be in front. well, a 110lb mad cow. with a fine ass body. really like a small, attractive, but dangerous bovine. but she isnt really cowish, just likes to boss me around, which seems to be more femalish than anything.

    • BoBzeBuilder
    • 13 years ago

    That made me shoot milk through my nose.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 13 years ago

    You should shoot that one and make some chili. Serve it to your wife with some nice chianti and fava beans…ffuffufft.

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    no… 🙁 one of them is a little bastard one that you cant even catch too. I would love to sell his ass, but I think i’d be hard pressed to find another guy dumb enough to let his wife get horses.

    • bthylafh
    • 13 years ago

    Maybe to discourage its use on laptops.

    • madlemming
    • 13 years ago

    Wonder if the new atom D’s will have cpu speed scaling (speedstep I think Intel calls it) enabled…

    It’s enabled in netbook atoms, but the nettop versions never have the option. No idea why, since they claim it has no performance impact.

    • swaaye
    • 13 years ago

    So… did you sell the horses?

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    CONGRATS on another post that isnt really friendly. Meadows, do you need a hug?

    • no51
    • 13 years ago

    A: > Try playing Quake 4 on an Intel Video card. Let us know how you get on.
    B: > It looks as good as on an ATI/Nvidia card so far…
    B: > Hang on.. frame 2 is coming up.. yup still looks good.

    • Meadows
    • 13 years ago

    Congratulations for pointing out the reason.

    • Bombadil
    • 13 years ago

    Power is proportional to frequency cubed at minimum voltage (i.e., reducing the voltage to the minimum required for stable operation at that frequency.) At a set voltage power scales linearly with frequency. At a set frequency power scales with voltage squared.

    • thermistor
    • 13 years ago

    Wait #5…I don’t believe you. Nominal voltage (Power = V x I) will have a huge impact on power. If you drop voltage, you drop power. I realize that this is AC, and power consumption will be represented as some funky integral/RMS approximation (sorry circuits was long ago). Frequency will have little to do with overall power consumption versus a substantial drop in operating voltage.

    The key is that DDR3 *can* operate at lower voltage (power) than DDR2 without data errors.

    The other key is that the minimum memory speed is not the problem (think how easy it is to operate DDR2-800 at DDR2-533 for system stability), but rather maximum speed. Vendors can down-clock to their hearts content.

    Experts please weigh in…I think this is right…but am I really in the wrong?

    • Bombadil
    • 13 years ago

    1.35V DDR3L is a JEDEC spec §[<http://www.jedec.org/news/pressreleases/jedec-lowers-power-ddr3-releases-spd-spec&sa=X&ei=98jVS9b-IozINcDtjNED&ved=0CAoQzgQoADAA&usg=AFQjCNGUfelThKt1rTJZ0OURUkfxAHhjaA.<]§ Single channel DDR2 already saturates the Atom FSB bandwidth, so more memory bandwidth could only help the IGP.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 13 years ago

    Unless they use something that’s out of JDEC specs, it will likely make the battery life lower. A lot of what netbooks have going for their battery life is that they tend to use very low speed RAM.

    A while back, someone had said it would be 667 MHz, but they haven’t actually stated that for certain and no such animal presently exists.

    I think it’s more about price. Netbooks are meant to be as cheap as possible, and pretty soon, that’s going to require DDR3.

    • odizzido
    • 13 years ago

    8hrs is usually good enough for me, but I wouldn’t mind having a smaller/lighter laptop than I do now.

    • BlackStar
    • 13 years ago

    DDR3 might improve graphics performance by as much as 50%. From 2 tris/sec to 3.

    • ImSpartacus
    • 13 years ago

    I think battery life is the reason they’re moving to DDR3.

    That, and DDR2 and DDR3 are around the same price.

    • sweatshopking
    • 13 years ago

    who cares? they are still too slow. ddr3 isnt going to fix that, however it will improve battery life…

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