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Intel unveils new Silvermont microarchitecture in Atom platform overhaul
Silvermont is meant to be the first in a family of yearly refreshes so you can expect to see an even better version of it not too far into the future. But for now, it’s going to be the champion of Intel’s mobile offerings and it is quite a fitting one, at that. When it arrives for smartphones later this year, it will be in the guise of Merrifield, while tablets will be getting it through Intel’s upcoming Baytrail SoC.
Silvermont is designed to offer three times the performance of its predecessor (Saltwell) while consuming five times less power. And it supports not just Android but Linux and Windows as well. This shows that Intel is much better prepared to battle with the likes of Nvidia and Qualcomm this time around. And it won’t hold anything back.
How many cores does it take?
According to Dadi Perlmutter, Chief Product Officer at Intel and Executive VP of the Intel Architecture Group, Silvermont is all about making sure that all of the cores are optimized, to the point that it’s able to outperform even competitor solutions that rely on higher core counts. The value of a microarchitecture, he said, is “not measured by how many cores you have.” Instead, you have to take many other factors into account, such as how all the different cores work together and how good any particular core is at what it’s supposed to be doing.
As Intel would have it, not all cores are created equal. And it has created this handy chart to illustrate.
Intel decided not to reveal any SoC-specific information — such as the maximum clock speed, for instance — for both Merrifield and Baytrail for now. But it promised to give an update very soon, so expect to see the new information here from us as soon as it becomes officially available.