This week, at the International Solid State Circuits Conference, Intel will be presenting a large amount of information about Silverthorne, it’s latest processor line, although it’s being treated as more than just a processor, at least as far as Intel and the industry is concerned.
Silverthorne is a low-power 45nm CPU, designed from the ground up for ultramobile / ultraportable PCs and other smaller devices (although not down to mobile phone sizes). As late as last week, Intel is scheduled to deliver it in the first half of this year (perhaps as early as May). It is compatible with the instruction set in the Core 2 Duo and according to Computerworld, fits into the 0.6 – 2 watt power range. Intel is claiming that it uses around 15 times less power than the current lowest power dual-core CPU (the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) line).
George Ou at ZDNet.com mentioned that it will have the “performance equivalent to a first generation “Banias” Pentium M notebook processors circa 2003″ when it comes to single-threaded applications (keep in mind multi-threaded applications on a dual-core Silverthorne should perform much better, including the operating system). George mentions that at 1.0V it can hit 2GHz, and that it will support (SSE3), Intel Virtualization technology (VT), Intel 64 Architecture support, and Hyper-threading (HT).
As small as Silverthorne is physically going to be, it’s going to be carrying a heavy load for Intel:
Pankaj Kedia, a director at Intel, told Computerworld that Silverthorne will be a key piece of many other Intel products. “The low-power microarchitecture we’re going to be rolling out next week is establishing a foundation that will spawn multiple processors in different segments,” he added. “We believe mobile Internet devices is a big market — a high-growth market. More and more consumers want to access the Internet wherever they are. … We think more and more consumers will want to carry the Internet with them in their pocket. Silverthorne will be the heartbeat of this category. From a growth perspective, Silverthorne is very important.”