With Ivy Bridge graphics, could Intel's Valley View Atom processor save netbooks?

Summary:Intel has a chip in the pipeline that could boost graphics performance significantly over current Atom processors.

While many people have abandoned netbooks for the iPad and other tablets, Intel doesn't appear to be giving up on the platform. According to new information, the company has a chip in the pipeline that could boost graphics performance significantly over current Atom processors.

A leaked road map shows a new system-on-a-chip dubbed Valley View (with a Balboa Pier chipset), a 22nm chip that features four cores, DDR3 RAM, and USB 3.0 support and is slated for 2013 release. But maybe most importantly, it could offer up to 4x improvement in graphics.

An Intel engineer has described Valley View as a "CedarView-like chip but with an Ivybridge graphics core." While Intel's integrated graphics aren't up to most discrete graphics performance yet, Sandy Bridge ushered in big improvements, and Ivy Bridge is expected to perform even better.

Considering mediocre graphics has been one of netbooks' major issues, Ivy Bridge graphics could provide the platform a much-needed boost. It could also be embedded in set-top devices in the living room, perhaps powering a future Intel Internet TV service.

A loyal cadre of netbook supporters has commented here in the past that they use netbooks on a daily basis. So what would you think of a Valley View chip with Ivy Bridge graphics? Would it give netbooks more of a chance against tablets? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section.

[Via The Verge]

Topics: Intel, Hardware, Mobility, Processors

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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