Intel's Silverthorne unveiled

In a matter of months Intel will be officially releasing what may end up as its furthest reaching microprocessor architecture of the next decade, yet hardly anyone is talking about it and it's rarely characterized properly. Let's get the names straight first. Silverthorne is the processor, it's Merom-x86 based (no SSE4). Poulsbo is the chipset. […]

In a matter of months Intel will be officially releasing what may end up as its furthest reaching microprocessor architecture of the next decade, yet hardly anyone is talking about it and it's rarely characterized properly.

Let's get the names straight first.

Silverthorne is the processor, it's Merom-x86 based (no SSE4). Poulsbo is the chipset. The combination of the two is referred to as the Menlow platform.

I've often referred to Silverthorne as the processor Apple wanted to use in the iPhone but couldn't. In spirit there's truth in that statement, but practically it couldn't happen. Silverthorne won't be able to fit in something the size of an iPhone, it's not cool enough, it's not integrated enough and it's just not ready for that market. Intel believes it will be ready in about 3 years, I tend to agree.

But Silverthorne is launching this year, soon in fact, and there are still many unanswered questions. We know from CES about the types of devices we'll see it used in. Intel calls these Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDs, they are small devices that can be used to browse the web, check email, use chat clients, play music, view photos, etc... These MIDs will either run Vista or Linux, the majority being Linux due to lower system requirements and cost.

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Intel, Silverthorne, Processor, CPUs, Centrion