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Upcoming Intel Atom Z670 to be expensive for manufacturers

The new Atom may be up to 3 times more expensive than competing ARM-based processors

For a processor designed around ultra-low voltage use, the Intel Atom Z670 won’t be coming cheap for manufacturers according to a Fudzilla report. The Oak Trail processor is expected to cost $75 at launch, making it more expensive than any previously released Atom CPU.

In comparison, Nvidia’s competitive Tegra 2 platform is reportedly as low as $20 USD per chipset, almost three times cheaper than the new Intel Atom. This is likely due to the core architectural difference between the processors, as the Tegra series is based off of ARM’s Cortex –A9 core while the Atom uses the more traditional x86 design.

The steep price of the Z670 could mean tablet manufacturers may prefer producing Tegra-based products over using the Atom. In turn, there would be more Tegra tablets running Google’s Android compared to Atom-based tablets, which would be an unwanted outcome for Intel in general. Intel would need to cut the production costs of the new Atom quickly if the company wishes to compete with Nvidia and Qualcomm.

The Atom Z670 will be a single-core CPU with a low 3W thermal design power. The processor will be featured in a number of upcoming tablets such as the Samsung Slide 7 and the Fujitsu Stylisitic Q550.


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Allen Ngo, 2011-03-12 (Update: 2012-05-26)