Intel's Silverthorne Ultra-Mobile Processor Now Called 'Atom'

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Intel announced today that they are officially branding their upcoming ultra-mobile processor family as 'Atom'. Formerly known as Silverthorne, the new family of low-power processors are specifically designed for mobile internet devices (MIDs).

"This is our smallest processor built with the world's smallest transistors," said Intel Executive Vice President and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Sean Maloney. "This small wonder is a fundamental new shift in design, small yet powerful enough to enable a big Internet experience on these new devices. We believe it will unleash new innovation across the industry."

'Atom' offers very low-power consumption (0.6-2.5 watt) over Intel's laptop-class processors (35 watt) yet preserves the Core 2 Duo instruction set. In theory, this means that Mac software could run unmodified on the new low-power processors. Intel envisions the use of these processors to introduce a new class of internet capable devices.

Rumors have placed 'Atom' processors in upcoming mobile devices from Apple -- either the rumored Apple tablet/PDA or the next generation iPhone.

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