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  • Southernsharky - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    It would be nice if they turned the Atom into something other than a steaming pile of [rap before they added more features to it. Reply
  • thrawn3 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    In a smartphone with the much simpler OS the current Atom design should be quite nice. I still use a single core Atom netbook. Sure it is slow but speed isn't everything and ARM proves that. Reply
  • retrospooty - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    "It would be nice if they turned the Atom into something other than a steaming pile of [rap before they added more features to it."

    I dunno man, they are about 1 process shrink (to 22nm) and a few power improvements from a dominating chip. Don't count Intel out. They have already mentioned they are working to integrate cellular radio, and now wifi into the SOC. That lowers total power significantly if its all in one. Throw that on a tablet and add Windows 8 with x86 enterprise apps and its a total dominator in the business sector. I would buy one as a consumer so I can run my real apps on it. I am sure most people would as well.
    Reply
  • extide - Friday, March 02, 2012 - link

    Plus the 22-nm atom should bring us a next gen, out of order, atom core. I have no doubt Intel is going to put a LOT of resources behind getting atom into a competitive position. It's certainly going to be fun to watch! Reply
  • name99 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    Anand, are you in a position to ask Intel what the capabilities of this WiFi part are?

    If it is just another low-power WiFi part, like every other one we have seen (1x1:1, 20MHz, no short guard interval) then Intel is trying to compete purely on price, and while that may get them into the Noname Brand Crapulon 350X, it won't be enough to get them into the upper tier smartphones and tablets.

    Much more interesting is if this part (and related paraphernalia like the driver) can do more --- ideally a lot more --- than current low-power WiFi parts. There are many possibilities here.

    At the PHY level
    - they could utilize short guard intervals (something to boast about, but maybe not worth the power consumption)
    - they could use a more aggressive soft-value, iterative FEC decoding scheme (gets more range, allows for higher speeds at mid-ranges, but again burns power and maybe not worth it)
    - could provide for a 2x2:1 architecture --- now we're talking. This would incorporate two antennas even though only one spatial stream is supported; the system can use switch and stay (very low power) or maximum ratio combining (still low power) for diversity. Hook that up to supporting STC and you have a system that should have much greater range than the current of smartphones and tablets.

    At the MAC level
    - they could use intelligence and statistics (what is the cost of the next data frame, and the probability that there will be a hidden node collision) to decide whether to use CTS/RTS rather than a dumb strategy like a blind "always use if the data size is greater than x bytes".
    - they could use aggressive aggregation (at both MAC and PHY levels) along with intelligent fragmentation (to keep the fragments corrupted from noise at a pre-determined level) and boost the goodput from the usual 50% or so of PHY rate to more like 80%+ of PHY rate.

    These MAC improvements have the great advantage that they don't actually burn any more power. They do require more working RAM for the WiFi system, but it's 2012, not 1987, and we have multiple MB of ram on chips in the form of extremely fast cache --- we should be able to allow the IO system a decent amount of working memory which doesn't even need to be especially high speed.
    Reply
  • deeceefar2 - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    One thing that you left out is software. Intel is also a pretty good software developer when it comes to drivers and their related attachments.

    I suspect this will also be something that Intel uses to differentiate itself from the other WiFi vendors. Since driver related development is difficult, expensive, and goes largely unseen unless it's breaking, I suspect this is very attractive to device makers. They can focus on their development efforts on differentiation and not invest it into driver maintenance which is a throw away if they choose another vendor in the future.
    Reply
  • damianrobertjones - Monday, February 20, 2012 - link

    ...Need this now. Both are stupidly slow with that darn single core Reply
  • Visual - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    Nah, just a CPU bump will still not save them. They need a GPU to be worth it to me. I need something to replace a tm2. Reply
  • Hector2 - Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - link

    You two didn't read Anand's Medfied review last month ?

    "Intel is able to deliver performance better than a dual-core Cortex A9 from a single HT enabled core"
    Reply

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