Intel Atom processor is most probably known by most users out there as the processor that usually appeared on netbooks. However, the truth is that Intel Atom has also been equipped into many other products including smartphones, tablets, desktop PCs, and even servers.
Soon, you can even add cellular base station into the list as well. Just earlier today, Intel has announced the new Atom P5900 system-on-chip (SoC) alongside a number of 5G-related products such as the 2nd Gen Xeon Scalable processors, Diamond Mesa structured ASIC and Ethernet 700 Series 5G-optimized network adapter.
Said to be designed from ground-up specifically for wireless Radio Access Network base station including those that will be used for 5G deployments, the Atom P5900 was built using 10nm process technology. However, the exact specs of the SoC were not revealed by Intel though but the company did say that the Atom P5900 able to provide 1.8x more integer throughput than the 14nm Atom C3000 processor series.
The Atom P5900 also comes with the Intel Dynamic Load Balancer that apparently able to deliver up to 3.7x more packet processing throughput as compared to software-based solutions. Similarly, the chip can also provide up to 5.6X cryptography throughput than software solutions with the help of Intel QuickAssist Technology.
According to the announcement today, Intel expects that the Atom P5900 SoC will be deployed starting from this year onwards. Among companies that are already committed to developing solutions based on the new chip is Ericsson, Nokia, and ZTE.
Given that we are more familiar with Intel Atom as a consumer-level processor family rather than an enterprise-grade product, it is an interesting development to us. Not only that, Intel has also designed the new Atom chip for the 5G era which is quite surprising given the reputation that Intel Atom has as a netbook processor years ago.
But of course, netbooks are now part of history while 5G is the future.