Intel Announces Dual-Core HyperThreaded Atom for Phones

After revealing the 32-nm single-core Atom Z "Medfield" series (the Z2460) last month during CES 2012 (which now supports up to 2 GHz), Intel has officially added two more chips to its Atom Z lineup: the dual-core Z2580 and the single-core Z2000.

On Monday during MWC 2012, Intel said that the latter low-power Atom Z2000 chip, featuring a single core clocked at 1 GHz, will be aimed squarely at the "value" smartphone market (AKA sub-$200). It will support Intel's XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G, a 300 MHz graphics core, 720p playback and up to an 8MP rear facing camera. Intel plans to sample the Z2000 chip in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.

As for the Atom Z2580, it will come with two cores clocked at 1.8 GHz and accompanied by four hyperthreads, acting as virtual cores, so that the SoC can split its power more effectively by designating one thread to any given task. Intel is hoping that hyperthreading will offset any gains made by Nvidia and Qualcomm's quad-core products while also delivering better power and battery efficiencies thanks to the 32-nm architecture (Tegra 3 is a bigger 40-nm).

Intel also added that the new Atom Z2580 will come packed with a dual-core graphics core clocked at 533 MHz built into the Penwall SoC architecture, and an "advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G solution." Intel plans to sample the Z2580 in the second half of the year with customer products scheduled in the first half of 2013.

In addition to the two new Atom Z announcements, Intel said that it plans to outpace Moore's Law by shipping 22-nm SoCs for carrier certification next year, and that it's already in development on 14-nm SoC technology. The company also revealed the XMM 7160, an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G platform with support for 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink, and support for HSPA+ 42Mbps. Intel will sample the product in the second quarter with customer designs scheduled to launch by the end of 2012.

The XMM 6360 platform, a new slim modem 3G HSPA+ solution supporting 42Mbps downlink and 11.5Mbps uplink for small form factors, is currently being sampled, Intel said.

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