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6/4/2008
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Intel Adds To Atom Line Of Processors

A number of computer makers launched Atom-based products at Computex including Asustek's new Eee PC and rival Acer's Aspire One.

Intel on Tuesday introduced two new versions of its Atom processors, aiming the devices at the emerging categories of compact desktops and ultraportable notebooks.

The N270 and N230, both single-core 45-nanometer processors with clock speeds up to 1.6 GHz, were introduced at the Computex conference in Taipei, Taiwan. The N270 is targeted at what the chipmaker calls "netbooks," which some analysts define as sub-$500 notebooks with screen sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches. The later chip is aimed at what Intel calls "nettops," which are low-cost compact desktop devices designed primarily for Web surfing and managing e-mail.

The N270 and N230 have a 533-MHz front side bus and 512 KB of cache, and they consume as little as 2.5 watts of power. Intel first introduced its Atom line of processors in March.

A number of computer makers launched Atom-based products at Computex. They included Asustek, which unveiled a new model of its Eee PC; and rival Acer, which launched the Aspire One. Both have 9-inch screens.

On Monday, Nvidia introduced its own low-power processors for smartphones and mobile Internet devices. The Tegra line is an all-in-one, integrated system on a chip smaller than a dime, and features an 800-MHz CPU, a high-definition video processor, an imaging processor, an audio processor, and a low-power GeForce GPU. The new product is expected to appear in computers by the end of the year.

In addition to the new Atom chips, Intel executives at Computex unveiled the company's 4 Series chipsets for mainstream desktop PCs powered by Intel's latest 45-nm Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors. The chipsets are capable of processing high-definition video content on Microsoft Windows Vista, and are aimed at computers that do not need separate graphics cards for gaming or applications used by graphics professionals.

Intel plans to introduce high-performance processors and some chipsets for its Centrino 2 mobile PC platform, formerly code-named Montevina, during the week of July 14, company executives said. The chipmaker's full line of chipsets and its Wi-Fi wireless product are scheduled to ship in early August.

Intel has developed an integrated WiMax/Wi-Fi component, codenamed Echo Peak. The new product will be available as an option for Centrino 2-based notebooks this year.

Editor's Note: This story was updated June 30 to correct the amount of cache in the two processors.

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