Atom Z2580 to be the first CPU manufactured on Intel’s new 14nm technology

by: Mike AndriciApril 6, 2012
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Intel Atom Z2580
We were fully aware about Intel has plans to release a smartphone/tablet processor built on the 14nm manufacturing process at some point before 2014. But when the official announcement was made (back in February at the Mobile World Congress 2012 when Intel revealed their Smartphone Platform Roadmap) there was no indication regarding the other CPUs Intel plans to manufacture using the new technology. In this context, today I’m reporting on a very interesting rumor that has recently surfaced at SemiWiki, claiming that the LTE-enabled Intel Atom Z2580 will be the first CPU Intel manufactured using the 14nm technology.

With sales of smartphones recently surpassing PC sales, it only makes sense for Intel to be more and more interested into providing the best CPU chips for smartphones and tablets. Their most recent effort, the Medfield chip, seems to be able to keep up performance-wise with current ARM architectures, but is generally believed to be lacking in the performance per watt ratio. This is exactly where Intel’s 14nm tri-gate manufacturing process comes in, as the new tech is expected to bring significant improvements to the power consumption rates in the upcoming Intel Atom Z2580. As the processor will use less battery, the latter will be able to properly fuel up the LTE radio. In other words, the Intel Atom Z2580 might be the first LTE-enabled chip that won’t showcase a monstrous thirst for battery juice.

Although ARM has generally more power-efficient architectures, Intel is in control of the manufacturing process tech game (something even Nvidia’s CEO has hinted at), meaning they might be able to compensate design flaws by providing a better manufacturing technology. Granted, other silicon manufacturers such as IBM and Samsung have revealed 14nm wafers, but the general conception is that Intel’s tech is better than anything else. On a personal note, I can’t wait to see ARM’s response to the new Intel threat.

Any comments? Drop us a line in the section below and let us what you think!

  • Amine Elouakil

    It still a long way till seeing this little baby in a Product, not before 2014 at that time, I think everyone will be on 22nm at least or less, except of Samsung if they don’t skip an Increment, (they are just moving to 32nm in the SoC area) I’m sure they have the technology at least in the MicroSD area I think they are already on 22nm

    • Donny

      You really can’t compare the two types of processes. RAM, NAND (flash memory) and CPU are radically different to manufacture. RAM and NAND have (relatively) very simple design considerations, while a CPU is currently the bleeding edge of design complexity; and complex things are much harder to manufacture than simple ones. While Intel’s 32nm production is on par with (the relatively new) 28nm process by other foundries, as those suffer from a lot of problems, rumored yield issues (which raise the price, lower clock rates and disable cores) and the such.

      22nm as currently used in Ivy Bridge is at least 12 months ahead of anything the competition can offer. And that time frame will very likely increase by quite a bit if Intel can pull off 14nm (which, if history has taught us anything, it can), because the other foundries have yet to deploy FinFET tech in production, and are years away from attempting to mass produce it – something that will be practically necessary by then.

  • Neko

    sorry but ur full of it.
    At Mobile World Congress today, Intel’s Paul Otellini created the latest traffic jam by laying out the plans to move from the Atom Z2460 (Medfield) at 32nm into the Atom Z2580, targeting their new 14nm process in two years. Also, he previewed the Z2000, the first “value” tier push targeting lower cost implementations.
    an ultra low power 4G LTE chip
    ^– i can see how one might think this means that the lte+cpu is 14nm
    and later this year there will be samples of the Z2580 which brings a dual core to the table.

    ur full of it ;)