Intel Atom

Joachim Steiger roh at
Thu Aug 14 20:32:22 CEST 2008

qrazi wrote:
> The test referred to are with the nettop version of the Atom, the Atom N230.
> That CPU is paired with a standard 945GC chipset, which consumes between 15
> and 20 Watt. Hence the high power draws in those reviews.
> Intel also has the Z series, which include speedstep for even lower
> powerconsumption for the CPU itself, but they are also to be used with the
> Intel US15 mobile chipset. For a 1.6 GHz Z530 Atom, with the US15 chipset, a
> maximum draw of 5 Watt is reported. That is way lower then the combination
> that PC Perspective has tested.
> Although probably still not low enough for use in a phone. That however
> might come in future generations, since Intels plans are to include more, if
> not all, of the chipset functions into the cpu itself.

thanks for summarizing it so well
thats also my conclusion: x86 is not ready yet for really mobile use.
we should evaluate it more when they can punch the '<1W when in use' limit.

for comparison: our cpu currently uses <90mA when in use.
add the chipset, the lcm and interfaces (don't forget wifi, bt and gsm)
and then see battery sizes and capacity -> for a reasonable standby AND
talk time we need to not peak far beyond 1W when in use and be far
beyond that all the rest of the time.
also things like high-clocked ram (ddr compared to simple sdram) or
internal usb connections are energy suckers (thats why sdram with
<200mhz and things like sdio/spi/i2c/cmoslevel-serial is preferred to
usb and ddr ram.

its always getting things into a tricky balance to have something usable
at the end (and not a 'see how fluid it moves the icon'  - 'oh.. batter
is empty' - showcase ;)

kind regards


Joachim Steiger
Openmoko Central Services

More information about the community mailing list