Intel recently announced it was fast tracking the release of its Pine Trail platform, which we expect to see sooner rather than later in 2010. We now have a little more info to share on this Atom platform replacement.
According to Fudzilla, Pine Trail will be significantly smaller when compared to Intel's current netbook platform, largely the result of moving from a three-chip design containing the CPU, Northbridge, and Southbridge, to a two-chip part with just the CPU and Southbridge. The end result is a 64-percent smaller package footprint.
Pine Trail will be designed on a four layer PCB, Fudzilla says, which will cut back on manufacturing costs. However, this doesn't mean that netbooks will become any cheaper in 2010, though you can probably expect vendors to squeeze in more features.
Finally, the Pine Trail platform will consume less power, about 20 percent less than Intel's Atom platform, which will pave the way for even longer battery life.
Late last month, several notable netbook manufactures -- including Asus and Acer -- scrapped plans to launch new netbook models in the second half of this year because of Intel delaying the launch of its Pine Trail-M platform. But according to the latest rumor making the rounds, MSI appears on track to release mobile Pine Trail-based netbooks in time for the holidays, news and rumor site DigiTimes reports.
By launching the new platform ahead of schedule, MSI will get a leg up on the competition and avoid having to compete on price, at least from the outset. Combined with the high anticipation for Windows 7, slated for release on October 22nd, MSI could find itself in a very favorable position this holiday shopping season.
Or maybe not. There remains some question as to how Intel's next-generation Atom processors, codenamed Pineview, will compare to existing parts. The new chips are expected to be mroe energy effecient, but they might not be much faster and they could end up costing more than the currently shipping Atom chips, mobile news site Liliputing says.