New Intel Atom Z600 CPUs Coming to Tablets and Phones

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Intel’s Atom CPUs have been all over the netbook space but the processor manufacturer wants in on the lucrative smartphone and tablet arenas as well. With the introduction of the Z600 series of Atom CPUs, Intel is promising processor speeds up to 1.9GHz for tablets and 1.5GHz for smartphones while maintaining long battery life and the ability to play 1080p video.

Per Intel’s press release:

“Collectively these new chips deliver significantly lower power including >50x reduction in idle power, >20x reduction in audio power, and 2-3x reductions across browsing and video scenarios – all at the platform level when compared to Intel’s previous-generation product. These power savings translate into >10 days of standby, up to 2 days of audio playback and 4-5 hours of browsing and video battery life. When combined with 1.5-3x higher compute performance, 2-4x richer graphics, >4x higher JavaScript performance, and support for full HD 1080p high-profile video decoding and 720p HD video recording, these low-power innovations bring a rich, PC-like visual experience to powerful handheld computers.”

This all sounds similar to what’s offered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform, which is being seen more and more in higher-end smartphones, and Apple’s A4 chip, which is found in the iPad. However, the Intel chips feature a much higher clock speed.

The Snapdragon and A4 chips currently top out at 1GHz while Intel’s Z600 CPUs will be able to hit 1.5GHz for smartphones and 1.9GHz for tablets. If Intel’s truly able to provide competitive battery life in the face of these higher clock speeds, things could get interesting.

Although the Z600 series chips are now available to manufacturers, analysts believe that we may not see consumer devices based on the new platform until next year.