Meet Moorestown: Intel's Atom Platform For The Next 10 Billion Devices

Intel’s second-gen Atom platform, Moorestown, positions the chip giant to have a killer smartphone and MID platform in 2010. The old Atom Z5xx drawbacks seem fixed. Why does Moorestown rock, and will it be enough to let Intel advance in this market?

Imagine you’re running a 3DMark graphics demo at perfectly fluid frame rates. Then imagine you’re watching 720p, 8,000 Kb/s video at a steady 30 FPS. And just for giggles, pile on a camera with a little videoconferencing app showing you streaming at the same 30 FPS. Now put all three apps on the same screen. Not earth shattering for one system to pull off, by any stretch, but not bad, right?

Now, imagine all three of those apps running with that level of performance on the smartphone in your pocket.

Impossible, you say. There isn’t a phone in the world right now that can play video at those rates, never mind having the other two tasks running concurrently with no performance impairment. Well, my friends, I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.

Today, Intel goes public with its Atom Z600 processor series. Perhaps netbook performance has left you uninspired. Perhaps Intel’s prior-gen ultramobile platform (meaning smartphones and mobile Internet devices, or MIDs) left such an indifferent impression on you that you’re now asking, “What? Intel had a phone chip?” Rest assured that the Z600 is a different beast altogether.

The company invited Tom’s Hardware to its Austin, Texas ultramobility development center for a pre-launch peek at the platform that has until now been called “Moorestown.” This wasn’t another fluffy press tour. Intel left no doubts that it is serious about this market segment, and was prepared to explain in extensive detail why Moorestown was a game-changer.

So buckle up and give your current phone one last gaze of admiration. You might not be as enamored with it by the time we’re done.

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  • Silmarunya
    The sheer amount of adoration in this article is stunning. Did you get an orgasm while writing this? Or did some cash pass under the table?

    On a more serious note: yes, it sure looks good. But where will it be used? Tablets are already using the full blown Atom, so I doubt we'll see a transition soon. Lower-end handsets don't need the power this offers. High end headsets certainly could be a willing customer, but current phone OS'es are heavily coded for ARM based chips. Even if devs are willing to transcribe it for Atom, it will take long enough for ARM to come up with something of its own, or so I believe.

    Yes, it's an excellent products. But it won't be used in billions of handsets. As far as I can tell, it will occupy a minor part of the high end mobile phone market, which is a niche by itself. A minor market share in an average market segment isn't really spectacular, is it?
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  • mi1ez
    still 45nm?
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  • das_stig
    Quote:
    The company invited Tom’s Hardware to its Austin, Texas ultramobility development center for a pre-launch peek


    or should that say poke, talk about a love in, bet he can't sit down for a week.
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  • Tomtompiper
    Arm have a big advantage in this sector, their RISC architecture is more suited to parallel computing than that of the X86 platform, and it's innate low power only compounds this. This is a classic Adidas, Nike battle, I know where my money is being wagered.
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  • Dandalf
    It's obvious that Intel's tightly controlled demonstration environment was able to effectively neutralize the technically-minded critique of this tom's writer :(
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  • das_stig
    Love for VIA to get there act together and update their chip lines, should give the Atom and good kicking.
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  • psiboy
    Selling tripe to the masses... as a consumer salesperson of technology here in Australia I can tell you the gloss is starting to wear of the small form factor as people have realised the atom for the 486 performance it delivers (ie slow)!
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  • v12v12
    Honestly I don't give a crap what a phone can supposedly play, do, when in fact we're not ALLOWED to do most of what WE want with OUR device and OUR OS that are crippled beyond legal advertising usage...

    These devices are nothing but eye-candy fraud for Vzn/ATT/TMob etc, so they can load these things up with more free advertising banners and crap for them. More "accidentally" placed "Get-ripped-off-now-4-$1.99-a-press" buttons that NOBODY in their right mind would use Vs just connecting the phone to your net/laptop/Desktop device and UL'ing whatever YOU want on the device, not what they think you might want (for a fee of course), aka them telling you what you should want to do and use YOUR device for.

    Who cares about how fast your car (device) can go, when the controllers of the road (OS), won't allow you to drive your car as they advertised it to you (some stupid-fast commercial with drifting and sh!t)? The only real way to get near full functionality and power from your car is to void your warranty by unlocking the detuned aspects of it, thus now you're car is a warranty-less ticking time-bomb awaiting failure, then you've gotta reflash it and pretend that you werent drifting and speeding when they ask "so... how did it break?"
    __Come on here people, how can they advertise these devices to do so much, yet when you get it they are FILLED with bugs, glitches and general unfinished functionality, yet all the while they MARKET it to you as being alleged to have said capabilities etc... I digress.

    Screw speed/mCPUs if the OS is going to be crippled, controlled and infested with bugs. There's more important things consumers should be concerned about before eye-candy = this is just used to continually push more devices to us and create more consumer fanaticism: OMG I've GOTTA HAVE *NEW* everything!

    Bunk.
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  • capn13
    I'd add two more factors to consider namely 1) screen real-estate or lack thereof and real-life connectivity being either sub-optimal or lacking.

    Either way you turn that: in the home/lab/office or on the road/train/plane, there still seems enough here that for a lot of "real" computing tasks (I am thinking spreadsheets, long wordprocessing, coding) the devices are simply not suitable.

    I'd grudgingly accept my employer giving me a netbook to work on but I wouldn't go further down the line (I'm a webmaster working in federal gov't) - I need screen real estate and my fingers need a real keyboard for hours I work with technology.

    Would I love a faster smartphone? Sure! But lets be certain how and where these devices are useful.
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  • knuthf
    capn13I'd add two more factors to consider namely 1) screen real-estate or lack thereof and real-life connectivity being either sub-optimal or lacking. Either way you turn that: in the home/lab/office or on the road/train/plane, there still seems enough here that for a lot of "real" computing tasks (I am thinking spreadsheets, long wordprocessing, coding) the devices are simply not suitable. I'd grudgingly accept my employer giving me a netbook to work on but I wouldn't go further down the line (I'm a webmaster working in federal gov't) - I need screen real estate and my fingers need a real keyboard for hours I work with technology. Would I love a faster smartphone? Sure! But lets be certain how and where these devices are useful.


    Well both the N9 and the N900 runs OpenOffice / LibreOffice. It can edit just as well as MS Word, calculate spreadsheet better than Excel (with Gnumerics) and compares in speed with a Samsung Galaxy S2 - because now you can overclock it.

    The N900 has a tiny keyboard, but also code to attach one on the Bluetooth port or USB. The N9 can attach a BlueTooth keyboard. The N900 has analog TV out 720 dot, the N9 regular HDMI - 1050p.

    If you trave a lot or operate from multiple offices it is a gem. Mine rune 64GB of storage, comparable with a laptop a couple of years ago. The Maemo is better and well tested and regardless of what the media says, this is where the advance applications are developed first - because it is so simple to work on any regular Linux laptop and test and debug here, and then copy the system to the device.

    Android is very similar to Linux, so that is the next platform. iPhone is censored by Apple, so they are the last to get the apps.
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