Intel boosts low-end PCs, laptops with Atom-powered 'Braswell' SoCs

14-nanometer chips deliver modest speeds at low power

Without much fanfare, details have begun to emerge about Intel's latest line of Atom system-on-chips for low-end desktop PCs, and laptops.

CPU World reports that Intel will offer four new Atom products based on its 14-nanometer "Braswell" process, to be marketed under the Celeron and Pentium brands.

Each will be based on two or more 64-bit "Airmont" CPU cores – which is Intel's 14nm shrink of its Silvermont microarchitecture for low-power Atom chips – coupled with a DDR3-1600 memory controller, an unspecified eighth-generation Intel GPU, and I/O and chipset logic within the same package.

At the bottom end of the batch, the Celeron N3000 and N3050 each come with two CPU cores – and because Silvermont doesn't support Hyper-threading, each core can only handle a single processing thread.

The N3000 slurps the least power of the two, at 1.04GHz with a burst frequency of 2.08GHz and a thermal design power of 4W. The N3050 has a base clock speed of 1.6GHz, boost speed of 2.16GHz, and a 6W TDP. The GPU of both chips is clocked at a base of 320MHz with a maximum boost frequency of 600MHz. Each has 1MB of L2 cache.

The other two entries in the new bunch are the midrange Celeron N3150 and the heavyweight of the set (relatively speaking), the Pentium N3700. Each delivers four CPU cores at a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a TDP of 6W.

The two units really only differ under load. The N3150's CPU cores have a maximum boost frequency of 2.08GHz, compared to 2.4GHz for the Pentium-branded product. The N3150's GPU has a maximum boost speed of 640MHz, too, while the N3700's GPU can boost up to 700MHz.

All three Celeron-branded SoCs are reportedly priced at $107 apiece, while the Pentium N3700 will go for $161 apiece.

Intel is currently expected to debut Goldmont, the successor to Silvermont and a brand-new Atom microarchitecture for the 14nm process, by the end of 2015. ®

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