Small chip. That is the best description of the Atom chip which Intel will be bringing forth to the masses. Described as a chip which will be ideal for small mobile internet devices, Intel says these little wonders will be available in devices this year. The chip is about the size of a thumb nail, houses some 47 million transistors on a .25 micro base. Intel describes the chip as:

The Intel Atom processor is based on an entirely new microarchitecture designed specifically for small devices and low power, while maintaining the Intel® Core™ 2 Duo instruction set compatibility consumers are accustomed to when using a standard PC and the Internet. The design also includes support for multiple threads for better performance and increased system responsiveness. All of this on a chip that measures less than 25 mm², making it Intel’s smallest and lowest power processor yet.1 Up to 11 Intel Atom processor die — the tiny slivers of silicon packed with 47 million transistors each — would fit in an area the size of an American penny.

With personal computing increasingly going mobile and the computer industry rapidly developing new classes of products to connect the next billion people to the Internet, the Intel Atom processor offers customers the unique ability to innovate around the new low-power design. In addition to the MID opportunity, Intel believes the demand for a new category of low-cost, Internet-centric mobile computing devices dubbed “netbooks” and basic Internet-centric desktop PCs dubbed “nettops,” will grow substantially over the next several years. The Intel Atom processor is perfectly suited to meet these new market segments.

Intel said the Intel Atom processor also has potential for future revenue opportunities in consumer electronic devices, embedded applications and thin clients.

It seems that Bill Gates is correct and that the new technology coming forward will dwarf what we have seen in the past 10 years.

Comments welcome.

Full description of what the Atom processor will be is located here.

[tags]intel, processor, atom, small, devices, internet, new, market, basic, computing, [/tags]