The ASUS Eee PC 1015PN is part of the second wave of netbooks. So what exactly does a netbook require to be branded as a second-generation netbook? A dual-core processor at the very least. The 10.1-inch Eee PC 1015PN makes the cut as it not only boasts a dual-core 1.5GHz Atom N550 but also NVIDIA’s Ion 2 graphics chip.
Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini had a bounce in his step going into his shareholder briefing on Tuesday. Intel’s continued dominance over AMD and a solid earnings report has left his investors glad they placed their money in hardware rather then software. Investors on the other hand are nothing if not fickle. The conference call quickly turned into a debate over the shortage of Atom processors and weakness in Intel’s flash memory business. Put on the defensive Paul Otellini hinted that Atom isn’t the chip maker’s primary focus. "(Atom) is less than a third the performance of our Centrino (processor). You're dealing with something that most of us wouldn't use," he said. He further goes on to clarify that Atom is aimed at the emerging Netbook audience and is a way that Intel can grow without cannibalizing its other processor offerings. He continued to reassure investors that Intel has plenty of Atom chips in stock and back end improvements to testing as well as increased production of chipsets should solve the problem. Intel has been steadily increasing its production capacity of the popular CPUs since November.
If DigiTimes is to be taken at its word, Intel has already pushed back the launch of the dual-core Atom to September, 2008. The delay is due to the shortage of the 230 single-core Atom, according to the unnamed sources cited in the story. Interestingly, Intel hadn’t even given any launch date for the dual-core Atom in the first place, let alone announcing a delay.
Things are going to hot up in the high stakes low-power processor market with AMD readying its ‘Bobcat’ processor. NVIDIA’s Tegra is the other processor in the race. Given the competition, Intel might just be waiting for the correct time to launch the Atom 320 processor.