Intel has made quite the splash in both the nettop and netbook markets with its low-power Atom processors, but it will be another month before the chip maker dives into the mobile internet device (MID) end of the electronics pool, says DigiTimes.
Citing un-named "sources at MID makers," the news and rumor site reports Intel has postponed the launch of its Atom Z550 and Z515 Atom CPUs to mid-April, both of which are intended for MIDs. When it launches, the Atom Z550 will run at 2.0GHz, making it the fastest clockspeed Atom to date. It will offer the same 2.4W rated TDP, 512KB of L2 cache, and 533MHz frontside bus. The Z515 will run a tick slower at 1.2GHz. Both chips sport an average power consumption of just .22W.
The Z550 will boast support for Intel's US15W chipset, while the Atom Z515 will support both the US15W and low-power UL11L chipsets. In addition, the Z515 will also feature Intel's new Burst Performance Technology (BPT), which will adjust the core clockspeed based on performance requirements.
Intel's crazy-popular Atom processor already dominates the netbook and nettop segments, but that might turn out to be only a glimpse of things to come. By the end of the year, look for Atom CPUs to have found a home in more than half of all entry-level desktops. What the Caesar?
Citing un-named industry sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes says Intel has had to adjust its target shipment ratio of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 processors as a percentage of total CPU shipments with nettops and entry-level desktops. And what an increase Intel puportely projects. According to the report, Intel expects Atom growth to increase from 4 percent (nettops) and 6 percent (desktops) in the first quarter to 10 percent and 52 percent, respectively, by the fourth quarter of 2009.
As a result, DigiTimes says Intel's 65nm dual-core Celeron E1000-series and 45nm single-core Celeron 200-series CPUs will account for less than a fifth of th shipment makeup by the end of the year.
If the projections hold true, both entry-level and mid-range desktop pricing is likely to go down.
Intel's Atom platform has become so popular that even companies you've never heard of are using it. Such is the case with Japan-based Mouse Computer, who has put together a new nettop PC, the EGPA33DR32XP.
Specs include an Intel Atom 230 (1.6GHz, 512KB) or 330 (1.6GHz, 1MB) processor, up to 2GB of DDR2-SODIMM PC2-5300, Intel GMA 950 graphics, 160GB or 320GB hard drive, DVD burner, 6 USB 2.0 ports, 4-in-1 media card reader, and Windows XP Home.
You're not likely to ever see this one state-side, but it is available now in Japan starting at around $400.
It’s expected that the ARM processor will take over market dominance over Intel’s Atom in 2012.
Ever since Asus introduced the first Eee PCs in 2007, netbooks have become a mainstay of the mobile market and currently, Intel’s Atom is a driving force of virtually the entire industry. However, this is mostly due to there being little to no competition in this area.
Dr. Robert Castellano, an analyst with The Information Network, believes that ARM’s Cortex-A9 multicore processor will be the Atom’s primary challenger. He trusts that this will be thanks to a Linux-based netbook that could sell at a price that an Intel/Windows netbook wouldn’t match.
There are still others that disagree, such as IDC’s Mario Morales, who sees Intel on top for years to come. “You don’t want to burn Intel,” stated Morales. “If I am an AsusTek, I need to get processors for my other product lines from them.”
Relative unknown HABEY has recently released an HTPC powered by an Atom N270 that’s capable of handling 1080p content (or so they claim).
The diminutive box, also named the BIS-6550HD, is supposed to be the most energy-efficient HTPC available, and while a fairly weak processor powers it, it has a powerful hardware decoder that allows it such powerful throughput. It also packs up to 2GB of RAM on a single DIMM, has wireless / HDTV tuner options, plenty of video output options, a multi-card reader, gigabit Ethernet and four USB 2 ports.
No pricing or availability information is available yet.
With the introduction of four new specialized Atom processors (as well as two new system controllers to accompany them) Intel is looking to put their wildly popular Atom processor into more platforms. Notably, they’re making a push for internet-pones and in-car devices.
The processors, which are made from the same 45nm manufacturing process as their siblings, aren’t too different from the others that already exist. The processors, which will clock between 1.1GHz and 1.6GHz will consume very little power, and fit perfectly into a whole myriad of industrial options.
So who knows, perhaps in the coming years not only your computer, but your car might have Intel inside.
This looks to be a good year for the Network Attached Storage (NAS) market. Western Digital this week announced its new WD ShareSpace NAS with a massive 8TB capacity, and at CeBIT, Acer's showing off its Atom-based Altos easyStore NAS box with support for four hot swappable hard drives, meaning it too should be able to hold 8TB.
Inside the little box sits an Intel Atom 230 embedded processor using Intel's 945GC chipset. Other specs include a single PCI-E x4 slot, five USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, and a single eSATA port.
Not much else is known about Acer's upcoming easyStore, including when it will be available or at what price point(s). However, Engadget has a bunch of pictures for you to ogle at, which you can view here.
Nvidia showcased its bantam Ion platform during CES 2009. The Ion platform basically combines Intel’s Atom CPU with the GeForce 9400M GPU. Ion-toting netbooks are expected to be head and shoulders above today’s netbooks - that make a meal of even the simplest graphical tasks - in terms of graphics.
Acer’s 8.9-inch Aspire One has largely been accepted as the sales leader in the netbook market. It’s been so hot that Acer, trying to fix what’s not broken, is looking to release a larger Aspire One AOD150, which will boast a 10.1-inch screen and a doubled battery life for the same $350.
The new Aspire One will have an Intel Atom N270 under the hood with integrated 945GSE graphics, 1GB of DDR2, a 160GB HDD and Windows XP Home edition. And to power it all, there will be a six-cell, 4,400mAh lithium-ion battery that will keep it all moving for up to six hours.
The AOD150 is currently available; so if you’re looking to upgrade the diminutive computer in your life, don’t hesitate to check it out.
Lenovo is looking to release an Atom N280 based IdeaPad S20 netbook featuring a larger than usual 12-inch screen. This netbook’s screen size would defy Intel’s limitations on netbooks, stating that devices can’t have screens larger than 10-inches if they are to be considered a netbook.
Reportedly, this will cause Intel to charge Lenovo an extra $10 per processor. But, Lenovo hopes that the size of their machine will boost their netbook sales by avoiding the fierce 10-inch division altogether.
The IdeaPad S20 (with the Atom N280, a GN40 chipset, and Windows XP) is expected to cost roughly $586, but no word yet on availability.