Good news for netbook users - netbooks just got faster and battery life just got better. Intel has released its first dual-core mobile Atom processor.
The new 1.5-GHz N550 processor is the first part to be based on the PineTrail architecture, which should result in greater battery life for devices. Like its bigger brothers, the Core i3, i5 and i7 parts, the N550 has two cores and can run two threads per core. L2 cache is doubled to 2 x 512KB and the memory controller is upgraded to handle DDR3 RAM to 667 MHz). The graphics chipset is the same as for the single-core N455, and max RAM stays at 2GB.
Note: This isn't the first dual-core Atom to be found in netbooks - The Asus EeePC 1201N featured the D330 1.6GHz nettop part.
Performance seems to be up by around 20% according to various makers, and battery life is improved by some 15 - 20 minutes.
Expect netbooks sporting this new silicon to appear in September.