Feature Articles

Intel @ Computex 2010

Intel @ Computex 2010



The Atom Just Got Better

The Atom Just Got Better

The popular Atom processor just got a much needed boost with even more enhancements and processing power. This comes in the form of adding a second core to their line-up of processors for the netbook platform. The new processors will be compatible with the Pine Trail platform and according to company officials, will begin production next week. Expect to see some really nifty mobile dual-core Atom netbooks by Christmas. The dual-core Atom will provide more computing horsepower and give you a more responsive netbook experience, though editing photos in Photoshop and playing 3D games would still not be the kind of activities you want to engage in.

Besides giving the Atom a second core, Intel also demonstrated a new netbook design known as Canoe Lake. The design is an innovative razor thin platform that will enable developers to create some of the world's thinnest netbooks based on Pine Trail. At just 14mm in "thin-ness", the design can accomodate up to a dual-core Atom processor. With this design concept, you can expect to see a lot more thin and light netbooks in the market place soon.

In order to further push Atom into sleeker and more innovative devices, like tablets, Intel added a new platform into their Atom roadmap. Known as Oak Trail, the platform will be optimized for tablets and sleeker netbook form factors.  It promises to deliver up to 50 percent reduction in average power consumption with HD video playback and will target operating systems like MeeGo, WIndows 7 and Google OSes. The Oak Trail is slated for early 2011, so you still have up quite a bit of time to save up for devices based on this new platform.

DDR3 support will also be sneaking its way into the Atom with today's announcement of the Intel Atom single-processor N455 and dual-core processor N475 for netbook and the dual-core D525 and single-core D425 for entry-level desktop. The new netbook processors are made available today while the desktop processors will be available in June 21. We don't think DDR3 would make much difference in the performance of the Atom as we think the introduction is more of addressing the cost and mainstream availability of memory for such devices.