Foxconn has quietly slipped a pair of new mini-ITX Atom motherboards into its lineup, but unlike most Atom boards already in the wild, these new parts come equipped with 1.8Ghz chips instead of the slower 1.6Ghz Atom parts.
The D52S sports a dual-core D525 Atom processor nestled into Intel's NM10 chipset. Despite the tight confines, users can install up to 4GB of DDR2-800/667 memory (2 DIMM slots) and also have access to Intel's integrated GMA 3150 graphics, a single PCI slot, two SATA II slots, 5.1 channel audio, Gigabit LAN, and a bunch of ports (four USB 2.0, VGA, Parallel, Serial, audio jacks, etc).
The D42S sports a similar feature-set, but trades the dual-core D525 part for a single-core D425 processor, which is also clocked at 1.8GHz.
Both boards are listed as "coming soon" with the D52S expected to sell for around $95 and the D42S for around $80.
Exactly how low can Intel's Atom processors go? At least down to 15nm, according to Intel's latest roadmap. Think about that for a moment. At just 15nm, the manufacturing process is about the size of 60 atoms. By comparison, human hair measures 100,000nm in diameter. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
Intel's plans were revealed in a slide being shown at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF), which also showed 32nm and 22nm parts filling in the gap between 15nm and currently shipping 45nm Atom processors.
The slide is short on details, but interestingly it looks as though Intel will crank out more Atom chip offerings as the manufacturing process continues to shrink. At 15nm, Intel shows five chips each for netbooks, nettops, and consumer electronics, and six chips each for handheld "Z" series and embedded "E" series products.
The release of the Boxee Box finally seems at hand. Boxee and manufacturer D-Link announced today that the hardware has been finalized and should ship in early November. Of note, the box will no longer be running on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chipset. Instead, users will get a Boxee Box powered by the Intel CE4100 Atom chip.
The product was supposed to go on sale in June, but the date came and went with no firm plans. It looks like some of the delays may have been related to the effort to make the Tegra 2 work. In the end, Boxee's VP of Marketing, Andrew Kippen claims that video format support just wasn't good enough with Nvidia's solution.
The Bozee Box promises to bring consumers access to a wide range of video online via Flash and HTML5. Pre-orders are currently up at Amazon for $199. How do you think this stacks up against cheaper, but more limited, options like AppleTV and Roku?
Intel's a little late to its own game -- a handful of dual-core Ion-based netbooks already exist -- but hey, we're all for closing the door on the single-core Atom netbook era. As of this moment, there are a dozen new netbooks based on Intel's new mobile dual-core Atom processors available in stores, the chip maker announced.
"In their short history, the netbook category has experienced impressive growth," said Erik Reid, director of marketing for mobile platforms at Intel. "Having shipped about 70 million Intel Atom chips for netbooks since our launch of the category in 2008, there is obviously a great market for these devices around the world."
Most of the heavy hitters have dual-core netbooks ready to go, including Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, and Toshiba. And according to Intel, it's Atom N550 chip offers "similar great battery life" as the single-core N450.
Intel's Atom processor line has become ubiquitous with netbooks and most nettops, but these aren't the only areas the Santa Clara chip maker sees Atom processors making a splash. Recent reports suggest Intel will make a serious push into the tablet market, and more recently, the company unveiled two new Atom parts for home and small business storage applications.
These include the single-core D425 and dual-core D525, both of which come clocked at 1.8GHz and support DDR3 SO-DIMMs. The two chips are paired with Intel's 82801 IR I/O controller and support Microsoft Windows Home Server and Linux operating systems.
This is relatively new territory for Intel's Atom line, but the platform is gaining steam. Ever since Intel shoved its Atom line into the home and business storage markets back in March 2010, several companies have jumped on board, including Acer, Cisco, LaCie, LG, Netgear, QNAP, Thecus, and more.
At the very beginning of the netbook era, some predicted testing times for team Wintel as they viewed the new form factor as a great opportunity for rivals to lessen the gulf. But both Microsoft and Intel emerged unscathed from the much hyped battle. However, with their rivals drawing first blood in the battle for tablet supremacy, the powerful alliance now faces a sterner test.
While the diminutive Atom has been received quite well in the netbook market, Intel knows that a few changes are needed as far as tablets are concerned. To this end, it is readying its next-generation Oak Trail platform. According to Digitimes' sources within the PC industry, vendors are unenthusiastic about Intel Atom tablets and only plan to launch Atom- and Windows-based models in small volumes so as to appease the two giants.
The Oak Trail system-on-chip (SoC) is designed to handle Full HD video while consuming 50% less power than the Atom. Optimized for tablets, netbooks and other small form factors, the SoC will support a number of operating systems including Windows, MeeGo and Android.
It would appear that new netbooks are on the horizon. According to reports, HP will launch at least two more models built around Intel's Atom N455 (1.66GHz) and N475 (1.83GHz) processors.
These will be aimed at the entry-level market, a move some analysts says is HP's way of protecting its budget business as Intel shuttles its Atom chips into low-cost notebooks.
Analysts also predict that HP's re-entry into netbook territory, along with Intel's upcoming dual-core Atom chips slated for an October release, will spark heavy competition among the industry's four biggest players, including Acer, Asus, Samsung, and HP.
Sometimes it escapes our attention that people are still buying huge numbers of PCs these days. Intel's quarterly profit announcement reminded everyone of that today with news that the chip maker had record profits of $2.9 billion. Not to belabor the point, but that is all raw profit, not revenue.
The new numbers display a solid increase of $445 million over last quarter, and a massive $3.3 billion increase from last year. Not only did regular CPU sales blow up, but Atom revenue was up a respectable 16%. Any way you slice it, it's good to be Intel right now. Did you buy any Intel chips in the last few months? Upon reflection, we realized we may have more than a little to do with their profits.
Asus has managed to squeeze about as much performance as currently possible into its new netbook, the Eee PC 1215N. It all starts with a dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor clocked at 1.8GHz, which is supplemented by Nvidia's Ion graphics chipset. Nvidia's Optimus technology is also part of the package, allowing the 1215N to switch between the discrete Ion chipset and integrated graphics to extend battery life.
Other features include choice of 250GB or 320GB hard drive, 500GB of cloud-based storage (Asus WebStorage), Bluetooth 3.0, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, and HDMI-out.
With the HDMI-out port and Nvidia's Ion graphics, Asus claims you'll have no trouble playing back Full HD 1080p content on your a large screen TV. Embedded hardware decoders include H.264, VC1, and MPEG2.
Keeping true to its roadmap, Intel on Tuesday announced a couple of new Atom processors -- Atom D425 and D525 -- designed for nettops, low-power desktops, and all-in-ones.
Unlike the D410 and D510, these new chips come with a built-in DDR3 memory controller. Both are manufactured on a 45nm process technology and are clocked at 1.8GHz, but the D425 is a single-core part, whereas the D525 is a dual-core CPU. That means the D525 also sports twice as much L2 cache -- 1MB vs 512KB -- and sips slightly more juice at 13W TDP compared to 10W TDP.
These new parts also support Hyper-Threading and work with Intel's NM10 Express chipset, and will gradually replace the above referenced D410 and D510 processors in the marketplace.