Up and At ’em, Intel Atom Ant!

Sometimes little things are a big deal. That’s what hit me when I first heard the new Intel Atom name announced this week. Like the tiny superhero “Atom Ant,” one of my favorite childhood cartoons by Hanna Barbera.

I did a little peckin’ around and found I wasn’t the only one on the planet singing the Atom Ant tune. “Megalomaniac genius” Ripclaw was also feeling the minature yet mighty groove.

According to Wikipedia, Atom Ant “possessed such things as a mainframe computer and exercise equipment. His powers mostly consisted of the ability to fly, superspeed and amazing strength.” Seems fitting, even the mainframe computer small enough to fit in a anthill.

Looking back to February 2006, there’s “Cartoon: Intel Atom” by Brian Clapper, who seemingly had an “atom inside” vision and sketched it out.

This was the first time I ever saw a time clock counting down to indicate a new Intel brand was being born. But that’s what was there on the new Mobility@Intel Blog. It gave everyone a shot at guessing what the brand name would be. There were about 20 guesses and one person actually got it right. So far, the name feels like it fits — a tiny thing that packs a computing punch inside small devices.

Now that the name is out, we’re turning our attention to is next month’s Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai. Some of the early designs we saw at CES back in January dazzled me, and now I’m eager to see the next wave of mobile devices.

The Intel Atom brand says that the computing device has Intel’s tiny, energy-efficient processor built with the world’s leading 45nm transistors. These new chips are specifically designed for:

Handheld Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs)

An emerging class of simple, small laptops that are becoming known as “netbooks”

* Internet-centric desktops known as “nettops.”

I believe a mobile Internet device just might become my ultimate mobile media creation and sharing device. If you’re a multimedia blogger, wouldn’t be great to have a small device that let you to get on the fast wireless Internet, type easily, capture video, photos, upload to your blog, manage your social network, keep up with your favorite video sites and even host your own radio show using something like BlogTalkRadio? Wouldn’t they be great for people who use livecasting sites like Utterz and Seesmic.

Heck, I’d video Skype my family in Italy from anywhere around my house or beyond…then slip it in my pocket or man purse and quickly move on to my next gig. Being able to do these things quickly and from almost anywhere would let me do more of what I love and then get back to the ones I love.

These new devices could be instrumental in getting more people into the rich, immersive world of social media and networking. And lower cost variations may actually help pull the two billionth person onto the Web.

Unlike the old days of tweaking desktop chips to run cooler and fit inside a laptop, the new Intel Atom and Intel Centrino Atom technologies are a new breed and part of a newer trend: creating purpose-built products rather than re-purposing one-size-fits-all designs.

It feels like lots of things are coming together this year — WiMAX, the ability to better interconnect my many social networking and media services, and results of our continued quest to be smaller and more efficient with everything we do. What are some of the advancements you think will speed up, or improve the things you do?

As we head towards the Intel Developer Forum, we’ll be sharing some stories and videos about Atom and how things are shaping up. What Intel innovations are you curious about? We’ll try to capture and share what we can. If you’re on Facebook, come join our Intel Developer Forum Group and IDF Event Page.

4 Responses to Up and At ’em, Intel Atom Ant!

  1. Elia Rodriguez says:

    yes, MIDs open up some thrilling horizons for Social Media geeks — which is to say eventually for everyone. A host of new social media apps could spring up / be enabled by such devices.
    what does that tag mean “IDFShanghia08”?

  2. Ken Kaplan says:

    @Elia — Thanks for sharing that “eventually for everyone” feeling! Social media, social networking, social bookmarking and so many new applications available these days are getting people more “engaged” with the Internet. The Internet keeps getting more meaningful in our lives. My family can’t live without it! It helps us see each together even when we’re continents apart.
    The tag was a typo for IDFShanghai08 — thanks, it’s now fixed. That was my attempt at creating a specific tag for our upcoming Intel Developer Forum in Shanghai April 2-3.

  3. Ken Kaplan says:

    @Brian — Sorry about that! I must’ve had a deadhead flashback. I really enjoyed your atom cartoon. Thanks for your visit. Correction made.