Future Pentiums, Celerons to be Atom-based

It usually takes a little while for Intel's new high-end CPU architectures to trickle down into the Celeron and Pentium lineups. This time, it might not happen at all. According to PC World, Intel plans to use its Silvermont Atom architecture to power upcoming Celeron and Pentium processors. The chips will target "entry-level laptops, desktops and all-in-ones."

The news is legit. It comes from Intel spokeswoman Kathy Gill, who gave the following explanation to PC World:

Because of the advancements and flexibility of the ... Silvermont microarchitecture, we can customize the Bay Trail feature sets and develop variants of Bay Trail that will power a new crop of computing products at a variety of price points.

Gill added that, while there are Ivy Bridge-powered Celeron and Pentium processors out today, Intel is "[not] ready to disclose additional details on Haswell plans at this time." In other words, there's no telling whether Haswell-based Celerons and Pentiums are also in the works.

Silvermont is due out later this year, and it will be the first Atom architecture with out-of-order execution. It will also be based on Intel's latest, 22-nm fab process. Thanks to those improvements (and others), Silvermont is expected to deliver twice the single-threaded performance of older Atom chips—and twice the performance per watt. That may suffice for low-end desktops and notebooks, but enthusiasts looking to build cheap gaming PCs could be left wanting.

In any case, we'll be seeing Silvermont a lot soon. In addition to laptops, desktops, and all-in-ones, Intel plans to stick Silvermont inside tablets, phones, and low-power servers.

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