One thing today's batch of nettop and netbook Atom processors all have in common is that they use Intel graphics technology. That won't be the case with Cedarview, Intel's next generation of "full fat" Atom chips, with the Santa Clara chip maker instead choosing to tap into PowerVR's IP. That means the Atom processors of tomorrow will sport PowerVR's SGX545 graphics core.
According to VR-Zone, Intel extended its licensing agreement with PowerVR and plans to move away from using its own graphics. Assuming this doesn't affect the price of upcoming netbooks and nettops, this will actually be a good thing for consumers, who can expect better graphics performance out of PowerVR's SGX545 GPU. SGX545, which is similar in power to Intel's GMA 500 and 600 graphics, introduces new features as well, including DirectX 10.1 and OpenGL 3.0 support. You can also expect hardware accelerated video decoding for MPEG-2, MPEG-4 part 2, VC1, WMV9, and H.264 codecs, VR-Zone says.
Mobile Cedarview parts will have the graphics core clocked at 400MHz, while the desktop variant will race along at 640MHz. That's at least twice as fast as PowerVR originally intended its SGX545 to be clocked at.