Intel hits the Pine Trail: new Netbook chips come with built -in graphics

21st December 2009
Intel hits the Pine Trail: new Netbook chips come with  built -in graphics
New Netbooks from Dell and Asus ( not to scale) feature the more power efficient "Pine Trail" Atom chips from Intel

Stepping into what has been NVIDIA territory, Intel has has announced new Intel Atom processors that feature integrated graphics built directly into the CPU, enabling smaller, more energy-efficient designs in a new generation of netbooks and Atom-based entry level desktop PCs. A companion chipset will be available within the next few weeks.
The newest Intel Atom platform for netbooks consists of a new Atom processor, the N450, and a new low-power Intel NM10 Express Chipset. For entry level desktop PCs, it consists of either the Atom processor D410 or the dual core D510, also paired with the NM10 Express Chipset.
Intel seems to be targeting new generation fanless designs, and low-cost all-in-one designs. Intel announced the first Atom processors for netbooks and entry-level desktop PCs in June 2008 and has since shipped over 40 million Atom chips for netbooks. According to ABI Research, total Atom shipments for all segments are expected to continue to grow into the 100s of millions by 2011.
Mooly Eden, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client Group says: "We're excited to be delivering the next-generation Atom platform and working across the industry as we head into a second phase of growth, powering innovative new system designs with better performance, smaller footprints and better battery life."
Intel Atom has been harnessed by leading OEMs like ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu. While most of the systems are expected to feature the new Windows 7 Starter or Home Basic operating system, consumers will have a choice when it comes to selecting an operating system, with some OEMs offering the Intel sponsored MoblinTM Linux v2 or Google’s Chrome or even a version of Ubuntu.
One of the significant features of the new platform is the integration of memory controller and graphics into the CPU, a first in the industry on x-86 chips. That means two chips (CPU+chipset) instead of the previous three (CPU, chipset, I/O controller hub), a lower Thermal Design Power (TDP), and substantial reductions in cost, overall footprint and power. The netbook platform features a 20 percent improvement in average power and a smaller package size over the previous Atom platform. This might translate into smaller and more compact system designs and longer battery life. Because of the integration, the total footprint for the netbook platform has decreased by approximately 60 percent. For entry level desktop PCs, it might mean a nearly 70 percent reduction in footprint and about 50 percent lower TDP than the previous generation.
About the platform The N450 is a single core Atom processor with 512k of L2 cache and a 7 watt total kit TDP including chipset. The D410 for entry-level desktop PCs is a single-core Atom processor with 512k of L2 cache and a 12-watt total kit TDP including chipset, and the D510 for entry-level desktop PCs is a dual core Atom processor with 1meg L2 cache and a 15-watt total kit TDP including chipset. The new chips all run at 1.66GHz. Pricing and availability will be announced in January as systems become available from OEMs.

 The big question for Indian customers: Will this bring Net Book prices down below Rs 10,000?  Let's wait and see!

Bangalore Dec 22 2009