The new Lincroft-codenamed Atom Z600-series family delivers much better low-power consumption modes, reducing consumption to as little as 100 microwatts.
It continues the Pinetree legacy of integrated memory controller and video graphics engine but expands on it to include hardware accelerated video decoding and encoding.
According to Intel, the improvements in power consumption allow the Z600-series to reduce idle consumption by 50 times and to reduce audio playback consumption by more than 20 times. It also gains an impressive 2-3-times reduction in power while in browser and video playback applications. The power savings are claimed to equal battery life of up to 10 days in standby, more than two days of audio playback and fives hours of browsing and video playback.
The Z600-series with its hardware acceleration of video decoding will be able to handle 1080p video playback at full frame rates as well as 720p (1280×720-pixel) video recording.
While no specific model numbers have yet been released, the chips incorporate Intel’s GMA 600 graphics engine running at up to 400MHz with support for up to 1366×768-pixel (LVDS) LCD panels. The memory controller can handle up to 2GB of DDR2-800 memory while the CPU itself has a single core and 512KB of L2 cache memory.
The new range is aimed to scale in clock frequency up to 1.5GHz in smartphones and 1.9GHz in tablet PCs and handheld designs.
Intel has specifically designed these chips to use a range of Linux-based operating system including Google’s Android as well as its own Moblin option plus MeeGo, Intel’s joint venture operating system with phone maker Nokia.
The new chips are available from May 4.
In terms of performance, the Z600 range is likely to perform no faster than existing Z500 and N400-series Atom processors as they feature the same basic clock speed, architecture and L2 cache memory. However, with built-in video acceleration, video applications may well see some boost. Bottom line, the Z600-series is aimed at very low power applications and will compete with the likes of VIA and RockChip, who have been gaining ground in China over the last few months as the iPad clone market begins to ramp up.