Intel Cedartrail Features Exclusive: Intels Cedarview Atom to sport PowerVR graphics

Unlike the current desktop and netbook Atom CPUs, Intel's next generation of “full fat” Atom processors won't be using Intel graphics, instead the company has extended its licensing with PowerVR and we'll be seeing an SGX545 graphics core in these new Atom processors. This is actually quite a significant step for Intel as it indicates a move away from its own graphics IP for the entire Atom series of CPUs.

Unlike the current desktop and netbook Atom CPUs, Intel's next generation of “full fat” Atom processors won't be using Intel graphics, instead the company has extended its licensing with PowerVR and we'll be seeing an SGX545 graphics core in these new Atom processors. This is actually quite a significant step for Intel as it indicates a move away from its own graphics IP for the entire Atom series of CPUs.

The good news is that this should at least in theory significantly boost the performance of the GPU in the upcoming Atom processors, although PowerVR's SGX545 isn't exactly a cutting edge GPU design these days. It is in fact similar to what Intel calls the GMA 500 or GMA 600, both of which are based on PowerVR's SGX535 graphics core. New features include DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 support (the GPU is capable of OpenGL 3.2, but Intel seems to only go as far as 3.0) as well as hardware accelerated video decoding for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 part 2, VC1, WMV9 and the all-important H.264 codec.

We're looking at different clock speeds depending on if it's a desktop or mobile CPU and the desktop CPUs will have the GPU clocked at 640MHz while the mobile CPUs will have it clocked at 400MHz. At worst this is about twice as fast as PowerVR's original 200MHz clock speed that it expected the SGX545 to be clocked at. At 200MHz PowerVR promised a fill rate of 40 million triangles/s and 1Gpixles/s using a 64-bit bus. So far we can only guess as to how it'll perform in one of Intel's new Atom processors.

Intel Cedartrail Features Exclusive: Intels Cedarview Atom to sport PowerVR graphics

Intel has also boosted the graphics support and not only supports single channel 24-bit LVDS for notebook/netbook displays with a resolution up to 1440×900, but also eDP 1.1 which means all current and future notebook/netbook displays are supported. On the external side of things we're finally getting a couple of digital options to supplement the good old D-Sub connector with HDMI 1.3a and DisplayPort 1.1 support.

Memory support is still limited to single channel, but Intel has decided to boost the capacity to 4GB across the board and some CPUs will also support DDR3 1067MHz memory. Pretty much everything else remains the same as far as we're aware right now, but we're fairly certain things will continue to change before the launch sometime later this year and no, it won't be at Computex unless Intel manages to pull off something spectacular.