Intel's Silverthorne processor to run at up to 1.7 GHz

  • Chicago (IL) – Clock speeds of Intel's processor for Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs) and Ultra Mobile PCs have surfaced.


    Next month, Intel will be launching its first 45 nm processor, Penryn. But when the all the buzz about these new dual-core and quad-core CPUs for notebooks, desktop PC and server has calmed down, Intel will be gearing up to launch what may become an even more important product for the company.

    Silverthorne, the heart of Intel's "Menlow" platform, will not break any speed records, but it may open up new markets for Intel: The 45 nm CPU is expected to make its way into MIDs, UMPC as well as low-priced computers for emerging markets. Intel's recently updated "guide to processor product names" is listing Silverthorne for the first time with clock speeds ranging from 1.1 to 1.7 GHz. The document also indicates that the processor will have 512 KB of L2 cache.

    Menlow is still scheduled for a H1 2008 launch. The new platform, will replace "McCaslin", which is based on the A100 (600 MHz) and A110 (800 MHz) processors with "Stealey" core, which is based on the 90 nm Pentium M processor with Dothan core. According to Intel, Silverthorne will be about as fast as the first generation Pentium M – not really impressive when compared to today's dual-core processors, but the CPU won't have to deal with Windows Vista either - but rather trimmed down Windows versions as well as Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.


    What makes Silverthorne especially interesting are the economics Intel has built this chip on. The company not only claims that the CPU uses ten times less power than its 2006 UMPC platform (the processor topped out at 0.55 watts at a recent demonstration at IDF), but it is cheap to manufacture as well: One 300 mm wafer holds about 2000 Silverthorne CPUs, compared to only a few hundred Penryn chips that occupy the same space.