Leaked Intel Atom roadmap suggests 22 nm smartphone chip delayed till 2014

Intel logoBack in 2011 Intel made the bold promise that it would accelerate its release schedule on the mobile front to push out 22 nm smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs by 2013. Dubbed ValleyView, the chip was expected to feature between one and four of Intel's new Atom core design, dubbed Silvermont. As recently as the 2012 Intel Developer Forum, the company indicated that the 22 nm mobile platform (core: Silvermont; SoC: ValleyView; chipset: Bay Trail) would air by "late" 2013.

Now, according to leaked decks of slides, which were posted by a user named Ronny145 in a German forum and first picked up by 3DCenter.org, the launch may have been punted to 2014.

The deck shows the beta of ValleyView chips wrapping up in Q4 2013, along with the start of full production. But the chips won't actually hit the market, according to the deck until Q1 2014 at the soonest.

schedule is for planning purposes only

The lowest-powered ValleyView chips are expected to hit under 3W, according to one slide from the deck. This version (ValleyView) is likely the smartphone variant, while the other variants ('M' and 'D') are more likely to see use in tablets, netbooks, and budget laptops.

The lowest-powered ValleyView chips are expected to hit under 3W, according to one slide from the deck. This version (ValleyView) is likely the smartphone variant, while the other variants ('M' and 'D') are more likely to see use in tablets, netbooks, and budget laptops.

Features Intel Atom

To be fair, it did seem overly ambitious to somehow be able to jam out ValleyView/Silvermont in 2013. Not only is the release a die shrink, which adds the FinFET "3D" transistor design first employed in 2012's Ivy Bridge personal computer chip release, but it also adds other features like a seventh generation graphics core (with DirectX 11 support). Also added is support for DDR3L (the low powered version of DDR3 for mobile devices), USB 3.0, and on-die security/authentication features.

The chip also undergoes important structural changes; most notably, the current CedarView is comprised of 2 SoCs (processor+chipset), while the ValleyView brings the chipset onto the processor die, unifying the two chips into a single die. The chip will also be the first Atom to be offered in a quad-core variety.

The ValleyView-M variant is expected to clock up to 2.7 GHz with so-called "Burst Technology". That high speed would indicate Intel is following a similar route to NVIDIA and other ARM partners, in design a chip that can greatly upclock or downclock itself, a key to power management in mobile devices.

The move to a single die is expected to trim around 1.5 watts alone. However, Intel must move quickly as its rivals already have the upper hand in unit sales and some rival chipmakers like Samsung are testing 14 nm FinFETs. It's unclear just how far along Samsung's FinFET tape out is, but Intel must push to keep its planned 2014 launch of 14 nm mobile offerings on course, or at the very least not let it slip too far into 2015.

Source: DailyTech

Tags: 22 nm, Atom, CPUs, Intel, smartphones

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