Intel ushers netbooks down Pine Trail

Intel has officially unveiled its next-generation Atom processors, codenamed Pine Trail.

Intel ushers netbooks down Pine Trail

Pine Trail uses the same 45nm manufacturing process as the current generation of Atom processors, however the memory controller and GPU have now been integrated onto the same die as the processor itself.

According to Intel, the reduction in size should decrease power draw by 20%. The chip giant’s also claiming that by shrinking the Atom platform, manufacturers can also reduce the size of netbooks.

“[Pine Trail] translates into smaller and more compact system designs and longer battery life,” the company notes in a statement.

Because of the integration, the total footprint for the netbook platform has decreased by approximately 60%

“Because of the integration, the total footprint for the netbook platform has decreased by approximately 60%. For entry-level desktop PCs, it’s a nearly 70% reduction in footprint and about 50% lower TDP than the previous generation.”

It’s also worth noting how Intel has subtly dropped the nettop monikor traditionally applied to desktops running Atoms, in favour of the description “entry-level desktop”. This applies through the release, and suggests Intel is trying to reposition nettop’s as a real desktop alternative.

Pine Trail Atom’s will be available in three models all running at 1.66Ghz: the Atom N450, which is targeted at netbooks, and the single-core D410 and dual-core D510 aimed at those entry-level desktops.

Machines bearing the processors should appear on 4 January, with Intel claiming that all the major manufacturers are headed down the Pine Trail.

However, Intel may not find the market quite as receptive as when it first launched the Atom brand. Qualcomm’s SnapDragon platform is earning plaudits, and Nvidia is promising to unleash Tegra 2 at CES 2010 in January.

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