(PhysOrg.com) -- Bridges, trails, piers, and trees are familiar territory words for world travelers but for Intel workers they are more importantly code words and a number of them that are planted on the Intel roadmap have leaked. According to recent reports, Intel plans a Valley View Atom chip that has Ivy Bridge graphics. Intel's insider description of the new Valley View is as a "CedarView-like chip but with an Ivy Bridge graphics core."
Valley View is seen as a major upgrade in the wings to the Atom platform and the details have been widely circulated on blogs and tech news sites. VLV, the shortened name for the Valley View Atom, is said to be at the heart of Intel's future-generation low-power, low-cost platform. The release will support Intel's ability to tout better integrated graphics in mobile computing devices. The release date is expected some time next year.
The most talked-about feature in Intel-watching blogs and forums appears to be centered on the Ivy Bridge graphics core, which will boost support for HD video and 3D graphics in future Atom processors, and will improve on support for Linux-based operating systems.
One site noted the potential of Ivy Bridge graphics is that it will be twenty to fifty percent faster than Sandy Bridge. Accordinbg to the leaked slides, the Valley View processor belongs to a chipset that is code-named Balboa Pier, Other details indicate a fanless Valley View system with up to 8GB of RAM, USB 3.0, and up to four times the graphical performance of previous Atoms,
Still more details that emerged: The Atom Valley View processor will have integrated memory controller "Pondicherry" memory arbiter as well as Ivy Bridge and will support output to two DisplayPort monitors, one HDMI panel, and other outputs.
Comments from tech blogs have also noted that, based on the details, signs are that the chip will ditch third-party graphics and instead use Intel's in-house integrated GPU that is in Ivy Bridge. Last month, Michael Larabel of Phoronix reported that Intel was planning to drop PowerVR Graphics in future-generation SoCs. "With in-house graphics hopefully leveraging their existing and mature driver code-base, they would also be able to have an advantage on the driver side, especially if the support is available to everyone as open-source."
The question, say observers, is if Intel is really planning all this star-quality power for technology that will go into market-sluggish netbooks. The flip side of the question, as some suggest, is that the new Valley View Atom will revive marketplace attraction toward netbooks.
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