Intel has announced that its next-generation Atom processors will be available in systems from 4 January.
The processors combine the memory controller and graphics functionalities into the CPU, leading to lower costs and power needs, Intel said in a statement on Monday. Systems using the new Atom platform will need two chips — CPU plus chipset — as opposed to CPU, chipset and I/O controller hub, as in previous Intel chip platforms.
The Intel Atom platform for netbooks consists of the N450 processor combined with the new Intel NM10 Express chipset. The platform, which was code-named 'Pine Trail', is designed to lower power consumption and extend battery life in netbooks, according to the chipmaker.
Over 80 companies will begin to make netbooks with the next-generation Atom chips in 2010, Intel said, including Asus, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, MSI, Toshiba, Samsung and Fujitsu.
Some of the netbooks will be available without fans, due to a reduced thermal design point (TDP), Cindy Ng of the Intel Netbook Marketing Team said in a demonstration video.
Most OEMs will provide the new Atom netbooks with the Windows 7 operating system, according to Intel. However, some OEMs will offer Moblin Linux version 2 as an alternative.
Also on Monday, Intel announced the availability in January of Atom chips designed for entry-level desktops. The D410 and the dual-core D510 are paired with the Intel NM10 Express chipset.
Pricing and availability of next-generation netbooks and desktops will be announced throughout January as systems become available from OEMs.
The company first previewed its next-generation Atom platform for netbooks in May, while the chipmaker provided developers with a beta Atom software developer kit (SDK) at the beginning of December.