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Intel Atom(ic) Inside (Atom power part 3)

Rupert has a real good description of the Atom with tech specs for the various versions, Intel is planning to release. My suspicion is that there will be some compression of offerings since there really isn't a whole lot of difference in power savings between 1.
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Rupert has a real good description of the Atom with tech specs for the various versions, Intel is planning to release. My suspicion is that there will be some compression of offerings since there really isn't a whole lot of difference in power savings between 1.3 and 1.86 GHz. There might be some differentiation though when it comes to internal features.

To use an Intel based legacy analogy, you can't just go buy a stock 8051 these days. You get them based on what extra "stuff" that is tacked onto the chip by the various licensed second-source vendors that are making 8051-clones. Every possible peripheral you can name has been attached to or has embedded in it, a 8051 cpu core. Intel seems to be leaning somewhat that way with the ATOM.

One of the features that was especially intriguing is the Flash memory-logic based that implements the microcode module. The way it was presented was that it has the design goal of becoming an adjunct to the hardware add-ons that are already planned for the Atom CPU core. A current hardware encryption-decryption module is already included in the release version of the Atom that is used for video stream processing and secure data communications.

Flash based memory-logic functionality allows for field or perhaps even application based re-programmable logic changes. Firmware defined "hardware" functions could be something like adding a range finder to a digital camera that is using the Atom as its brains. Intel indicates that as the product matures, it will add functionality to the core CPU by adding silicon implementations of functions originally introduced as software programmed into the Flash logic-memory module in the Atom. This is like a 64 bit version of the 8051 variants offered by companies around the world. That brings appliance type functionality a lot closer, especially when the OS is a high-level system that can be modularized to include only the pieces needed like Linux or Win XP Embedded.

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