All the hoopla and hype surrounding Intel’s Silverthorne chip seems to have died down recently. Following on rumors that Apple’s next-generation iPhone (or Newton) would make use of Intel’s x86-based Silverthorne chip, and Intel’s overtures with their iPhone-mocking mobile internet device, Intel is slated to debut the Silverthorne microprocessor later this week.
As a scaled-down x86 chip, Silverthorne can top out at 2Ghz (2W) to do the heavy-lifting, while also dialing-down to a more mobile-friendly 600mW operating range. Silverthorne should bring Pentium M performance to the mobile space.
“What has a lot of OEMs excited is the dynamic range of this processor,” said Justin Rattner, chief technology officer of Intel. “It can be active at less than 1 W, but when it has a workload in front of it–like interpreting some Java byte codes to render a Web page–it can really crank.”
However, Intel seems to be marketing Silverthorne towards the UMPC and mobile internet device market rather than the smartphone market. Silverthorne doesn’t have the ultra-low power consumption of some of its rivals and so will make its debut in larger, paperback sized devices. As we all saw with Intel’s iPhone-esque internet device concept, Silverthorne’s going to be pulling duty in some sizable devices.
Given Silverthorne’s relatively heft power-consumption, we’re not sure if Apple will choose to put the Intel chip in the next-gen iPhone. It would make more sense for Apple to team up with Intel on the Apple Newton – a larger device that fits Intel’s Silverthorne profile perfectly.
Still, with full notebook performance in an ultra-mobile form-factor, we can’t wait to see what Silverthorne-powered devices Intel launches. We hope it’s not too much to ask for Intel to produce the internet-device that we played with at CES 2008 (even if it was a mockup).
[Via: Information Week]