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Intel to split the Atom into x3, x5 and x7 processor families

by Mark Tyson on 26 February 2015, 10:05

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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Intel has announced that it will update the Atom processor range by dividing it into three distinct, easily recognisable processor families. Tipping a hat to the success of its Core iX range of processors the next generation of Atom processors will be subdivided by good/better/best levels of performance into the Atom x3, x5 and x7 ranges respectively.

With hybrids and 2-in-1s expected to be popular for the foreseeable future, and with many of them at the cheaper end of the market expected to be Intel Atom powered, making it easier for customers to simply assess Atom processor performance levels is a good move. Rather than having to understand processor SKU numbers a customer can quickly compare brands of Atom-powered devices weighing up all the other variables such as screen, storage, other features and price to get the best device.

Intel describes the new Atom 'brand levels' as follows:

  • Intel Atom x3 processor provides basic, but genuine Intel level tablet and smartphone performance.
  • Intel Atom x5 processor has more capabilities and features for consumers looking for a better experience.
  • The flagship Intel Atom x7 processor provides the highest level of performance and capabilities for the Atom family.

The above infographic shows how Intel rationalises the new Atom range within its consumer offerings. You can see a step above the Atom range is the Core M range which has already started to appear in thin premium tablets and 2-in-1s. Above that, when computing performance is the most important aspect of your device, you have the familiar Intel Core iX range processors.

Tacked onto the infographic at the bottom of the performance section we have the affordable Celeron and Pentium range of processors. It will be interesting to see if these offerings get re-organised as Intel supplies both 'Bay Trail' and 'Haswell/Broadwell' architecture Celerons, for example.

The first Atom x3, x5 and x7 processors will probably be 14nm 'Cherry Trail' parts. More information on the new Atom range is expected to be revealed by Intel at the MWC next week.

HEXUS Forums :: 15 Comments

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Just what the Atom needed was further artificial segmentation. :rolleyes:

There's already some confusing segmentation of the Atom going on, the Bay Trail-T, Merrifield and Moorefield parts are already branded Atom. However the Bay-Trail D and M are branded as Celeron and Pentium along with the big cores.

It's going to create a heck of a headache if they segment it further, at least now with the Atom parts they don't really have any major features fused off like Celeron/Pentium do.

One way it could make sense without further fusing is branding by core count (maybe on the GPU side too). If you look at the part numbers that already kinda happens, Z37xx is BT, Z35xx is Moorefield, Z34xx is Merrifield, even though Moorefield seems all-around faster than BT especially its PowerVR GPU over BT's IVB one. However Intel is supposed to be (again) condensing it down at 14nm to just have the two dies, a dual and quad both with Broadwell-architecture IGP. :shrug:
I guess they've got to fight the Cortex A53 / A57 / A72 quad/octo core stuff somehow.
A53, A57 and A72 are actually different cores though.
A53, A57 and A72 are actually different cores though.

Actually selling something different rather than just bits fused off for marketing purposes? The dastardly fiends! :D

Seriously though, I really want an A72. A quad A57 in an ITX board would do, but the A72 looks super.
Not sure if it's legit, but Cherry Trail has popped up on Geekbench: https://www.semiwiki.com/forum/f296/intel-14nm-cherry-trail-soc-spotted-geekbench-5597.html

Seems about right for a Tick.