A novel re-optimization of fuel assembly and new innovative burnable absorber (BA) concepts are investigated in this paper to pursue a high-performance soluble-boron-free (SBF) small modular reactor (SMR), named autonomous transportable on-demand reactor module (ATOM). A truly optimized PWR (TOP) lattice concept has been introduced to maximize the neutron economy while enhancing the inherent safety of an SBF pressurized water reactor. For an SBF SMR design, the 3-D centrally-shielded BA (CSBA) design is utilized and another innovative 3-D BA called disk-type BA (DiBA) is proposed in this study. Both CSBA and DiBA designs are investigated in terms of material, spatial self-shielding effects, and thermo-mechanical properties. A low-leakage two-batch fuel management is optimized for both conventional and TOP-based SBF ATOM cores. A combination of CSBA and DiBA is introduced to achieve a very small reactivity swing (<1000 pcm) as well as a long cycle length and high fuel burnup. For the SBF ATOM core, safety parameters are evaluated and the moderator temperature coefficient is shown to remain sufficiently and similarly negative throughout the whole cycle. It is demonstrated that the small excess reactivity can be well managed by mechanical shim rods with a marginal increase in the local power peaking, and a cold-zero shutdown is possible with a pseudo checker-board control rod pattern. In addition, a thermal-hydraulic-coupled neutronic analysis of the ATOM core is discussed.