Intel Pinetrail: Atom 2.0 platform introduced - Update: Video on Youtube
Intel's smallest gets a facelift: As Pinetrail the Atom platform, which can be found in netbooks and mini PCs, gets faster and more efficient.
Original article: December 21, 2009
The small Atom processor that has been designed for netbooks and office systems is redesigned: The old three-chip structure (CPU + Northbridge + IO-Hub) is replaced by the duo called Pinetrail: Beneath the heatspreader of the new smaller Atom CPUS N450 (netbook), D410 and D510 (desktop low-cost) you don't only have the CPU, but also the GMA 3150 graphics unit as well as the DDR3 memory controller. The old power hungry GM945 chipset is replaced by the NM10, which handles the Input-Output jobs (sound, USB etc.). The redesign makes lower prices and - according to Intel - up to 30 minutes longer battery life possible.
The new products:
By relocating the RAM controller from the motherboard to the CPU, the latencies of the memory are reduced. Because of that we expect that the new Atom CPUs will be running three to ten percent faster than the older models of the N2x0 and 330 series. But Intel does not increase the clock speeds: The N(etbook)450 as well as the two D(esktop) CPUs 410 and 510 are running at 1.66 GHz - like the Atom N280 already does. The maximum power consumption of the Atom N450 (single-core, 512 KiByte L2 cache) is specified with 5.5 watt. In comparison to the 2.5 watt of the Atom N280 this may look like a step backwards, but the value already contains the power consumption of the integrated chip'set' which needs up to 6 watt on older Atom platforms.
According to Intel the GMA 3150 is not able to accelerate HD material with H.264 encoding. This feature has to be delivered with a chip upgrade. To use such a device is up to the manufacturing partners. We expect that notebooks won't have it in order to keep the costs down. Due to the weak graphics unit Nvidia's Ion platform is still the better solution for all people wo want to do more than just web surfing.
Update: December 22, 2009
Intel released a video of the Atom "2.0”. Cindy Ng of the Intel Netbook Marketing Team shows the Intel Atom N450 for netbooks as well as the Atom D410 and D510.
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