Intel introduces Silvermont, the future of smartphones and tablets

New low-power core architecture will find homes in mobile devices, notebooks, network devices

A few days before the Computex trade show in Taiwan, Intel has announced the launch of a new processor architecture, called Silvermont, designed to be used in smartphones, tablets, and other low-power devices including entry-level notebooks.

Where Intel’s current low-power CPU architecture — Atom, available as the Clover Trail system-on-chip in entry-level Windows 8 tablets like the Dell Latitude 10 and the Intel-backed Motorola RAZR I smartphone — has comparable performance to the more common ARM processors of most tablets and smartphones, it makes big sacrifices in battery life and low-power features to achieve this parity.

Silvermont, which will be implemented in tablets and smartphones within the next few months as the Bay Trail system-on-chip family, will offer three times the peak performance of Atom, while also supporting the same level of performance as Atom at one fifth of the power consumption. Intel says the architecture offers ‘industry-leading’ performance per Watt, although this claim is based on theoretical comparisons of its yet-to-be-released designs and main ARM competitors.

Intel is talking up the ‘enhanced power management capabilities’ of its new chips, with new low-power states support added to Silvermont’s arsenal. This means portable devices with greatly increased standby and sleep battery life, with the possibility of ‘instant-on’ smartphones and tablets with days or weeks of standby battery. ARM’s mobile architectures of the past few years have had support for a wider range of states and better per-Watt efficiency at low power, leaving Intel’s best efforts lagging behind in the increasingly-competitive consumer and business mobile device market.

Silvermont is based on the 3D tri-gate transistor technology that formed the basis of the performance increase between second- and third-generation Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge processors, although that implementation was a more basic one than the ground-up Silvermont re-design. In Ivy Bridge, tri-gate development was responsible for doubling performance per Watt.

As well as making a splash in tablets and smartphones, Silvermont means a new system-on-chip standard for enterprise computing — servers, network-attached storage devices, and network infrastructure will all get the same per-Watt performance boost from new Avoton and Rangeley processors based on a variant of the Silvermont architecture.

Silvermont’s announcement comes just after the release of more info on the company’s mainstream Haswell fourth generation Core processors for Ultrabooks, laptops and desktop PCs. Haswell processors are generally expected to offer twice the vector performance and a minimum of 10 per cent overall performance boost compared to existing third-generation Ivy Bridge CPUs, as well as a massive increase the performance of the onboard graphics chipset.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?