Intel announces 2GHz Atom Z550

Intel announces 2GHz Atom Z550

Intel has announced two new Z-series Atom CPUs at IDF, including the 2GHz Z550 with Hyperthreading.

While celebrating Atom’s first birthday at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing, Intel also took the opportunity to announce the first 2GHz Atom CPU – the Z550. As well as sporting a 2GHz clock speed, Intel says that the Z550 will also support Intel’s Hyperthreading technology, while still consuming less than 3W.

The new CPU was announced by Intel’s senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, Anand Chandrasekher, during his Mobility Keynote at IDF. Chandrasekher described the new CPU as “the first 2GHz processor that will fit in your pocket,” and said that the Z550 is already in production. The new 2GHz chip is intended to be used with Intel’s US15W System Controller Hub, which supports up to 2GB of 533MHz DDR2 memory.

As well as this, Chandrasekher also revealed the new Atom Z515 CPU; a low-power CPU that only consumes 0.6W. However, the processor is equipped with Intel’s Burst Performance Technology, which enables the CPU to run at up to 1.2GHz when high performance is needed. However, Chandrasekher didn’t reveal the normal clock speed of the CPU when idle.

Naturally, Chandrasekher managed to get through the whole keynote without once referring to Nvidia’s Ion platform, despite showing off the Atom’s HD video and gaming capabilities using Intel’s own chipsets. Chandrasekher asked the audience for a show of hands of people who thought that Quake couldn’t be run on an Atom-powered device. Unsurprisingly, no one put their hand up, although Chandrasekher put this down to the audience knowing that he was going to prove them wrong, rather than the more likely reason, which is that they have a reasonable knowledge of games and technology.

He then attempted to wow the audience with a demonstration of the decidedly ancient Quake III Arena running at 20fps on a mobile Atom-based device. However, we have to say that this is pretty rubbish when you consider that relatively recent games, such as Lego Star Wars, Trackmania Nations and even Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, can run on an Nvidia Ion platform at 1,024 x 768 at an average of 25-30fps, also using an Atom CPU.

Chandrasekher also provided a demo of Intel’s forthcoming “Moorestown” platform for mobile devices, which showed a dramatic reduction in power (10x when idle) when compared with a standard Atom platform. Moorestown will feature a new system-on-chip (SoC) codenamed “Lincroft”, which will contain a 45nm Atom core, as well as a memory controller and graphics chip. Meanwhile, a new I/O hub codenamed “Langwell” will complete the platform, along with a new version of the Linux-based Moblin OS. Moorestown is due to be launched in 2010.

Are you impressed by Intel's latest developments in the Atom line-up? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
Nexxo 8th April 2009, 15:01 Quote
Ooh, 3 Watts and 0.6 Watts (for the Z515). Too bad they're going to pair it with a 30 Watt chipset.
OtakuHawk 8th April 2009, 16:10 Quote
unless it's comes in dual core, I don't care.
ch424 8th April 2009, 16:33 Quote
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Ooh, 3 Watts and 0.6 Watts (for the Z515). Too bad they're going to pair it with a 30 Watt chipset.

Unless they use this - 2.3W :)
Nexxo 8th April 2009, 17:03 Quote
Hope so. They're doing some netbooks with that combination, but I would like to see some mATX or mITX mobos.
lewchenko 8th April 2009, 23:03 Quote
Im so not impressed.

2Ghz Atom... the previous Atom 1.6Ghz was slower than my ancient IBM thinkpad R50 laptop that had a 1.6Ghz Pentium M chip in it. I bought that ancient piece of junk years ago.

So I really doubt the new 2Ghz model will win any awards for performance either. They may use very little juice.. but boy do you pay for it in the performance loss.

As for Intel not even acknowledging the ION platform... they do this kind of stealth denial for a reason to avoid giving any free publicity to NVidia or the ION platform, which is quite frankly superior to any Atom supporting chipset that Intel have produced. I seriously wish that Intel would just give up on graphics, and concede the fact that they have not once delivered a reasonable graphics chipset in comparison to what their competitors have. That way then world will never again have laptops en mass full of woeful chipsets like the 950/3100/4500.
Elton 8th April 2009, 23:05 Quote
You're forgetting the 965. :D

I'll agree though, the graphics part on Intel is pathetic but since they love to use their in house boards + their processors(although they're almost always inferior) it'll be a slim chance that they'll ever give up.

I wonder if Larrabee will even succeed?
Lazarus Dark 8th April 2009, 23:47 Quote
Both the 35 and 45 Intel graphics chips were greatly hyped, and yet still failed to impress compared to the integrated graphics provided by Nvida and ATI. I don't look forward to Intel's CPU-GPU combos as they have yet to produce a graphics chip which elicits more than a yawn. In fact, at this point I would look at a cpu-gpu combo from Intel as more of a handicap than as a value added feature. I would be willing to pay less for an Intel cpu-gpu combo than I would for just a cpu.
BurningFeetMan 9th April 2009, 04:12 Quote
Originally Posted by OtakuHawk
unless it's comes in dual core, I don't care.

I couldn't agree more. Surfing the web, listening to winamp, talking on msn, transport tycoon running, steam loading up, perhaps even pushing the envelope with Team Fortress 2....

Definitely requires dual core. I can't wait for my Ion, and yes, I will buy an Ion with a dual core atom if it's available.
LordPyrinc 9th April 2009, 04:14 Quote
Chandrasekher... Any relation to actor of the same last name in 'Super Troopers'? Best comedy ever IMOH.

well, the name may be spelled differently perhaps, but it looks similar enuf.
Tim S 9th April 2009, 13:27 Quote
Originally Posted by ch424
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Ooh, 3 Watts and 0.6 Watts (for the Z515). Too bad they're going to pair it with a 30 Watt chipset.

Unless they use this - 2.3W :)

All of the Z-series Atom processors use the US15-series chipsets AFAIK :)
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