Intel Releases Dual-Core Atom Processor - InformationWeek

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Intel Releases Dual-Core Atom Processor

Intel is aiming the Atom at so-called "netbooks," which many analysts define as sub-$500 lightweight PCs with screen sizes of 10 inches or less.

Intel has started shipping dual-core Atom processors, which are designed for mini-notebooks.

Known as the Atom 330, the latest member of Intel's smallest line of CPUs features a 1.6-GHz processing core and 1 MB of Level 2 cache. The chip uses a maximum of 8 watts of power.

The Atom 330 has been validated with the Intel 945GC Express chipset, which includes the chipmaker's Graphics Media Accelerator 950. The chip, which shipped over the weekend, is sold to computer manufacturers for a base price of $43 each.

Intel formally announced the Atom in March. The downsized processor is a successor to the A100 and A110 processors, formerly code-named McCaslin, which appeared in devices known as ultramobile PCs, which were smartphone-like computers, but without the telephone capabilities.

Intel is aiming the Atom at so-called "netbooks," which many analysts define as sub-$500 lightweight PCs with screen sizes of 10 inches or less. Because of the computers' small keyboards, the devices are best suited as a second computer for e-mail and Web surfing on the road. They also are aimed at students looking for an inexpensive system.

The market for mini-notebooks is on track to reach shipments of 5.2 million units worldwide this year and 8 million units next year, according to market researcher Gartner. Manufacturers, which include Acer, Asustek, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Micro-Star International, and Samsung, could ship as many as 50 million devices in 2012.

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