Intel Launching New Atom-Based Processors With Digital Wi-Fi

If you thought Intel's Atom processor line was dead, think again: the company is launching a new version of the silicon, code named Rosepoint. Don't be too quick to dismiss it, either, because it sounds like the new mobile processor could mean business.

Wired reports that the new line of chips should bring significant reductions in power, cost, and size to Intel-powered smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Perhaps most interestingly, the chip has Wi-Fi built in as part of the digital chip. Current Wi-Fi chips tend to be analog, and a digital version should in theory be easier—and cheaper—to scale down. Indeed, Intel Chief Technical Officer Justin Rattner told Wired that the digital Wi-Fi chip should scale with Moore's law and has "state of the art power efficiency."

Even though Intel is officially announcing the chip in San Francisco this week, it won't be commercially available for at least two years. Given that it currently supports just 2.4GHz and Wi-Fi, that seems a little odd—though apparently versions with cellular data and built-in radio antennas are in development. [Wired]