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Dual-core Atom for netbooks?

May 14, 2010 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Intel will launch its first dual-core Atom processor for netbooks and other mobile devices during the third quarter, Fudzilla claims. The N550 will be clocked at 1.5GHz, have 512KB of second-level cache per core, and offer an 8.5 Watt TDP, Fuad Abazovic writes.

There has been no public mention of an N550 by Intel, and other references to this CPU on the net appear to be merely referencing the Fudzilla item. Author Abazovic does have a good track record, however, in that he predicted the introduction of Intel's first Pineview Atoms.

Actually, Abazovic said the Pineview launch would take place on Jan. 3 of this year, but it was brought forward to December following many leaks on the part of Taiwanese notebook manufacturers. We wouldn't be surprised to hear more rumors about N5xx Atoms in the run-up to the Computex show in Taipei, which is scheduled for June 1 through 5.

If an Atom N500 or N550 — Abazovic's posting actually references both names — exists, it would be the first dual-core Atom that's really suitable for battery-powered devices. Intel offers the dual-core D510, a replacement for the earlier D330, but this desktop-oriented variant has a relatively high 13-Watt TDP: It hasn't made it into any netbooks we're aware of.

Clock speed Cores Second-level cache Memory TDP
N450 1.66GHz 1 512KB 667MHz DDR2 5.5 Watts
N455 1.66GHz 1 512KB 800MHz DDR3 5.5 Watts
N470 1.83GHz 1 512KB 667MHz DDR2 6.5 Watts
N475 1.88GHz 1 512KB 800MHz DDR3 6.5 Watts
N550 1.5GHz 2 1MB 800MHz DDR3 8.5 Watts
D410 1.66GHz 1 512KB 667/800MHz DDR2

10 Watts
D510 1.66GHz 2 1MB 667/800MHz DDR2 13 Watts

Intel's "Pineview" Atoms
(already announced products shown in green)

Like the earlier Pineview Atoms, an N5xx CPU would employ Intel's NM10 "Tiger Point" I/O controller, which consumes under two Watts. Once again including on-chip graphics, it would presumably be designed to employ 800MHz DDR3 memory. As the chart above shows, DDR3 support is also a feature of the forthcoming N455 and N475, which are also unannounced but have been widely tipped for release.

According to Abazovic, the N5xx processor will be clocked at 1.5GHz initially, with 1MB of second-level cache (512KB per core). It will offer four threads and will use 8.5 Watts, he adds.

A separate report by claims one of the first netbooks to use the N5xx will be the Eee PC 1215N from Asus. Sporting a 12-inch screen and an Nvidia Ion GPU (graphics processing unit), the device will reportedly split the difference between Asus' lower-cost netbooks and the company's only-slightly-larger "UL" notebooks.

Further information

To see Fuad Abazovic's item about the dual-core Pinewview, see Fudzilla, here. To see the All report regarding Asus' Eee PC 1215N, go here.

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