Intel has announced that its forthcoming mobile processor, codenamed Moorestown, will be much more efficient than at first thought, and has been showing off prototype devices.
Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, used his keynote at Semicon West 2009 to outline the advances made in the Atom processor's successor, which is due out in 2010.
Chandrasekher confirmed earlier rumours that the new chip will be 50 times more power efficient than its predecessors, a major step from the tenfold power savings boost promised previously.
"We told you twice that we were going to improve power efficiency by 10 times," he said. "Now we've been able to make that 50 times. There have been massive cuts in video power requirements, audio and in standby mode."
The new 45nm chip will also be able to handle multiple applications, such as streaming video, while carrying out other functions, as Chandrasekher demonstrated using a prototype handset from Finland. The device had the same computing power as a top-of-the-range laptop from 2004, while using a fraction of the power.
Chandrasekher showed a unified home media controller using the chip, that allows users to move different media around the house on home entertainment systems.
He also outlined Intel's plans to modularise its chip design, claiming that it is now possible to write code for the Atom, multi-core and Xeon architectures without having to recompile.
Looking ahead, Intel said that it will unveil its first 22nm chips in 2001, with 15nm coming on stream in 2013. By 2015 the chip company hopes to have shrunk the manufacturing process to 11nm.