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Monday, December 21, 2009
Intel Announces Next-Generation Atom Platform

Intel announced new Intel Atom processors today that feature integrated graphics built directly into the CPU, enabling improved performance and smaller, more energy-efficient designs in a new generation of netbooks and Atom-based entry level desktop PCs.

The newest Intel Atom platform - a technology that had been previously referred to as "Pine Trail"- for netbooks consists of a new Intel Atom processor, the N450, and a new low-power Intel NM10 Express Chipset.

For entry level desktop PCs, it consists of either the Intel Atom processor D410 or the dual core D510, also paired with the Intel NM10 Express Chipset. The Intel Atom processor was designed from the ground up for small devices and low power, and remains Intel's smallest chip, built on the company's 45nm high-k metal gate manufacturing process. The overall package, including chipset, just got smaller due to the increasing integration and 45nm manufacturing, which means smaller, more compact system designs, lower costs for OEMs and improved performance.

Intel continues to see broad industry support for the Atom platform as netbooks in particular have been hot sellers during a recessionary year due to their affordability, function and small size (7-10.2" screens). Additionally, Intel is expecting to see broad channel adoption for Atom in a variety of small form factor entry-level desktop PCs at low price points, including ultra-small designs (less than 1-litre chassis), fanless designs, and low-cost all-in-one designs.

"The Intel Atom processor has fueled an entirely new category of computing over the last year and a half and we think the growth will continue for devices like netbooks and entry-level PCs built around basic computing and Internet usage models," said Mooly Eden, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group. "We're excited to be delivering the next-generation Atom platform and working across the industry as we head into a second phase of growth, powering innovative new system designs with better performance, smaller footprints and better battery life."

Intel has over 80 design wins to-date for the new Atom platform from such OEMs as ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu. While the bulk of the systems will feature the new Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic operating system, users will have a choice when it comes to selecting an operating system, with some OEMs offering Moblin Linux v2.

Intel has been also working with mobile operators and modem vendors to advance 3G capabilities in netbooks in established and emerging markets.

One of the most significant features of the new platform is the integration of memory controller and graphics into the CPU, a first in the industry on x-86 chips. That means two chips (CPU+chipset) instead of the previous three (CPU, chipset, I/O controller hub), a lower TDP, and reductions in cost, overall footprint and power. The netbook platform features a 20 percent improvement in average power and a smaller package size over the previous Atom platform, according to Intel. This translates into smaller and more compact system designs and longer battery life. Because of the integration, the total footprint for the netbook platform has decreased by approximately 60 percent. For entry level desktop PCs, it's a nearly 70 percent reduction in footprint and about 50 percent lower TDP than the previous generation.

New Atom processors:

- N450: 1.66GHz, 512KB cache, DDR2-667, TDP: 5.5W
- D510: 1.66GHz, 1MB cache, DDR2-800/667, TDP: 13W (2 cores)
- D410: 1.66GHz, 512KB cache, DDR2-800/667, TDP: 10W

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