New chip family from Intel

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Intel has now picked the name “Atom” for its new low-power processors, the brains for digital devices, that will power mobile internet devices and ultra low-cost notebooks and desktop PCs.

Intel sees a big market for the devices, saying that a low-cost “netbook” would cost around US$250.

The new processors are based on a new architecture built for small devices and less power consumption, Intel said. The previously code-named Silverthorne and Diamondville are made on it’s 45 nanometre chipmaking technology.

“Diamondville and Silverthorne both represent an attempt by Intel to sell chips profitably for a whole lot less,” said analyst Nathan Brookwood for market research firm Insight 64. “This is the first new processor design coming out of Intel since the Pentium Pro in 1995.”

Atom joins other brands like Core, Core 2, Celeron and Xeon.

Another chip being built is the Centrino Atom which will be aimed specifically at mobile Internet devices. It was formally known as Menlow. It will also feature integrated graphics, wireless radio and a lighter and thinner design.

These are slated to be released by the middle of the year.

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