Intel has officially begun shipping a 45nm dual-core Intel Atom Processor known as the Intel Atom Processor 330.
The newest member of the Atom family is designed specifically for nettops, which are affordable desktops purpose-built primarily for web surfing, email, and basic Internet usage.
The dual-core Intel Atom Processor 330 features a 1.6GHz processing core, 1MB of level 2 cache, Hyperthreading, an 8W TDP and support for DDR2 667.
The new processor is available as an integrated package and has been validated with the Intel 945GC Express Chipset, featuring built-in Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Intel High Definition Audio.
The dual-core and single-core Atom processors are pin-compatible, single-core Atom platforms will only need a BIOS update to support the dual-core CPUs.
Atom 330 could face competition in the coming months from AMD and VIA Technologies. VIA is expected to launch the dual-core version of its C7-M CPU for netbooks in the third quarter of this year. As for AMD, it will reportedly fight back against Atom with a series of ultra-low-power Athlon 64 processors. Both VIA and AMD are expected to showcase these CPUs at CES 2009, that will be held next January in Las Vegas.