Intel's Atom architecture to live on despite smartphone chip cancellations

The next-generation Atom architecture code-named Goldmont will be in upcoming Pentium and Celeron chips code-named Apollo Lake

Intel's Atom processor architecture will live on despite the recent cancellation of next-generation smartphone chips.

The chip maker will continue the development and use of the processor architecture, which stresses power efficiency, though the chips may not necessarily carry the Atom label. Last week Intel canceled upcoming Atom smartphone chips code-named Broxton and Sofia.

The next-generation Atom architecture, code-named Goldmont, will first appear in future Pentium and Celeron processors, code-named Apollo Lake, an Intel spokeswoman said. Current top-line Atom chips are based on an architecture named Airmont.

The decision to redirect Goldmont initially to another brand reflects Intel's preference to chase high-priority markets. The Pentium and Celeron chips will be used in productivity tablets, hybrids, low-cost PCs and Chromebooks.

Goldmont was supposed to be the centerpiece of Broxton. The chip maker also cancelled Sofia 3GX, Sofia LTE and Sofia LTE2 chips, which were targeted at low-cost smartphones and tablets.

Intel put the smartphone chips on the chopping block as it reshapes operations following an announcement last month that it would cut 12,000 jobs.

There will also be no next-generation Atom chips for tablets. The Goldmont-based Apollo Lake will succeed the Atom tablet chip code-named Cherry Trail, which is now more than a year old.

The company it will keep the existing Cherry Trail and Sofia chips on the market to support tablet customers, the Intel spokeswoman said.

The Atom architecture will continue to have broad coverage, just not in smartphones, said Dean McCarron, principal analyst at Mercury Research.

"Atom is anything but dead," McCarron said, adding the architecture is key to the company's future in low-power devices.

The Goldmont architecture could appear in chips for Internet of Thing devices and also servers. Atom chips are already being used in communications and storage hardware, and those too could be targets, McCarron said.

Intel mobile strategy now revolves mainly around 5G technology, which will bring significantly faster mobile connectivity to a wide range of devices. Intel will make front- and back-end devices to drive 5G network deployments, which are expected to start around 2020.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?