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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intel

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?