Intel quad-core 'ValleyView' system-on-a-chip coming

Intel will beef up its system-on-a-chip design with quad-core variants and faster graphics.

An Intel Windows 8 tablet powered by an upcoming Atom chip.
An Intel Windows 8 tablet powered by an upcoming Atom chip. Brooke Crothers

Intel's system-on-a-chip design for small devices is slated to go quad core.

Leaked Intel documents dated August 15 have appeared on a Chinese-language Web site that indicate Intel's next-generation system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be offered in configurations that include quad-core, a first for Intel's Atom chip design, according to a report at CPU World.

At the risk of wading too deeply into a codename quagmire, the Atom 22-nanometer architecture is dubbed "Silvermont" and the SoCs are referred to as "ValleyView."

The chips will also get punched-up graphics. ValleyView SoCs will integrate a graphics processing unit (GPU) sporting four "Gen 7" graphics engines that will offer up to a seven-fold increase in performance compared to the GPU on E600 series Atoms, according to CPU World. The SoCs will also boast an integrated Imagination decode unit.

ValleyView chips will also incorporate a host of other features, including either a dual or single channel memory controller, support for up to 8 GB of DDR3L-1066 or 1333 memory, camera interface, image coprocessor, and the display controller will include VGA and HDMI interfaces.

Supported I/O interfaces include SATA 2 and USB 2.0/3.0.

The chips are due in the second half of 2013, according to the documents.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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