Intel launches redesigned Atom chip for netbooks

Chip maker Intel has announced the launch of their new Atom processor chips and NM10 chipset for netbooks. In a first for Intel, the new chip Previously referred to as "Pine Trail", sees the graphics function placed on the central processing unit itself, reducing package size and power consumption.

"This is the first monolithic processor with the graphics built in and the memory controller built in," said Anil Nanduri, director of netbook marketing at Intel, according to CNET News. "We'll see sleeker designs coming into the market and longer battery life," he said, adding that power consumption has been reduced by 20% over its predecessors.

Although the new Atom processors have seen major changes, their gigahertz ratings and cache size remain the same as the previous generation - the N450 will run at the same 1.66GHz as the Atom N280 and still has 512KB cache. Intel is also launching the D510, which will have two processing cores, as well as a new single-core design in the D410.

Both Windows XP Home and Intel's Moblin Linux operating systems will be supported. Moblin will offer some benefits over Windows according to Nanduri, who said, "You will get a very snappy experience on Moblin and faster boot times because it's very purpose-built for this category."

Intel has said that there will be more than 80 new Netbook designs available from January 4th, 2010. Although pricing will be announced in January by Netbook suppliers, it is expected that the new systems will be priced at around $350.

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