New Atom CPU: First Details

Jun 12, 2009

The new netbook processor from Intel is the N450, its I/O handled by the NM10 controller chipset. The CPU under the codename Pine Trail should be released in October 2009.

DigiTimes announced the Atom N450 launch June 10. As was previously announced, the netbook CPU is produced in the 45 nm format and, unlike many current desktop and server processors, single-core but with graphics capabilities. Together with the Tiger Point chip now named NM10, the duo comprises the new Pine Trail Atom platform. Digitimes reports that Intel will continue filling orders for the popular N270 until Q1 of 2010 and then phase it out soon after.

The N450 is only one in a series of new Atom CPUs. According to Taiwanese sources, as quoted in Netbook Choice, three new model series will emerge. The single-core processor series N400, to which tne N450 belongs, targets primarily netbooks. The single-core D400 and dual-core D500 series are mainly for nettops. All will have the new NM10 I/O chipset.

The D series will probably start off with the D410 that should appear along with the N450 in Q4 of 2009. Apart from a slightly faster graphics core and somewhat better performance, the D410 resembles the N450. The D510 that is likely to launch the D500 series has a 1 MByte L2 cache. All CPUs support hyperthreading and run at a 1.66 GHz clock rate.

Intel had already disclosed the Pine Trail platform the beginning of this year in a conference presentation. The move was from three chips to two: the memory controller and graphics core are now part of the Pineview CPU, with the second chip being the Tiger Point I/O. Thermal output was cut in half from 4 Watts down to 2. The N450 will also have a modest boost in graphics by replacing the external GMA950 integrated graphics card with the GMA500 IGP processor. Support for full 1080p HD video is still somewhat down the road, however, as LinuxDevices reports.

Intel will post prices and speed results when the products ship in Q4 of 2009.

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