If you're looking forward to improved performance from Intel's tiny Atom processors -- used to power netbooks and tablets -- the company has plans to deliver it. In fact, the chip giant says future versions will match the performance of AMD's desktop Phenom II chips. Which all sounds great -- if you're willing to wait until 2015 to snare a device with that speed boost.
An Intel exec briefed some UK press about Atom's future, which will include a 14nm manufacturing process in 2014, following a 22nm manufacturing process. It also promised performance in 2015 that will be 10 times that of the current N570 in both graphics (frames per second) and CPU power.
Based on those projections, Intel reckons that its 14nm "Airmont" Atom will outperform a six-core Phenom X6 1100T processor, at least in running the SPECint2000 benchmark. Unfortunately, that is a curious choice of a benchmark, considering it's not the latest version of it (which is SPECint2006).
It's also a curious comparison, considering it's an older AMD CPU (albeit a six-core desktop one), four years from now is an eon in chip-improvement time, and it doesn't take into account any improvement that Apple, ARM, Nvidia, or AMD itself will make with any future mobile chips.
Does this leave you excited for Atom's future? We won't be surprised if you're a little skeptical.