Print 27 comment(s) - last by erikejw.. on Sep 23 at 11:24 PM

Dual-core Atom may ease shortages of Atom parts in the channel

Intel is dominating the world of the netbook with its Atom single core processor. The processor running at 1.6GHz powers the vast majority of netbooks that are available to purchase right now. The tiny chip is perfect for the netbook market thanks to its low cost and low power requirements.

It's no secret that Intel is bringing new Atom processors to market for the low-cost computer segment. Intel announced via its Chip Shots blog that its dual-core Atom processor is now shipping. The part is known as the Intel Atom Processor 330. The dual-core processor cores run at 1.6GHz and have 1MB of L2 cache.

The processor has an 8W TDP and supports DDR2 667 RAM. Intel says that the new Atom is available as an integrated package and has been validated with the Intel 945GC Express chipset. The chipset features integrated Graphics Media Accelerator 950 and Intel High Definition Audio.

Microsoft has eased the restriction for manufacturers using Windows XP on netbooks to allow for larger screen sizes and more storage. However, the new more lenient restrictions form Microsoft still don’t allow for manufacturers of netbooks to use dual-core processors. That should mean that netbooks using the new dual-core Atom processor would be running some version of Linux and perhaps Windows Vista of some flavor.

DailyTech reported in mid-August that Intel was going to be releasing its dual-core Atom in September and Intel slid the processor in mere days before the end of the month. Intel is still having shortages of its single-core Atom processors in the channel. The shortage has led some makers like Asus to use older Celeron M processors.

Early in September, DailyTech reported that Intel has its next generation Atom on the roadmap for Q3 2009. The next generation Atom processor will be most notable for its integrated graphics processor.

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By knitecrow on 9/22/2008 10:17:33 AM , Rating: 5
The choice of chipset makes the platform no-go for me. When you have a chipset drawing more power than the processor, what is the point of having a low power CPU in the first place?

I'd like to see what amd comes up with. I like ATI/AMD chipset.

By tayhimself on 9/22/2008 10:26:17 AM , Rating: 2
This is not the case with the 945GSE or whatever anymore. This was/is the case with the desktop chipsets but not the laptop ones.

By foolsgambit11 on 9/22/2008 12:58:35 PM , Rating: 2
And the 945GC Express (the one this Atom is approved for) is the nettop chipset, not the netbook chipset (i.e., the one that is less power-friendly). When this chip is approved for the 945GSE (6W TDP), then it will certainly be better off from a power standpoint. If it ever is approved for the 945GSE. It could be they don't want this processor in netbooks at all, only in nettops.

By Mitch101 on 9/22/2008 10:36:02 AM , Rating: 2
I think the ATOM is good considering its wattage range but your absolutely right the mobo chipset kills any advantage the Atom would have at this being a good low powered beater system but I hear Intel will have a decent mobo chipset soon.

Supposedly the VIA nano is faster but VIA wont have a dual core and the Via prices don't come close.

Then there is AMD they are going to have what is it 15watt and 22 watt chips soon? I think they will even have a 45watt quad phenom. But the AMD mobo chipset is what makes this really shine. Still have to wait and see but I think AMD will deliver this time.

This all comes down to the design and if AMD can deliver on those 15-22watt talk for most of us this will be a no brainier.

I am looking forward to more PC that look like Wii's but pack a good punch especially with the possibility of external video card for high performance.

By Chadder007 on 9/22/2008 11:24:03 AM , Rating: 2
Where in the heck is Intel's Poulsbo chipset?

By rudolphna on 9/23/2008 12:05:32 AM , Rating: 2
The wii is relaly incredible too. Like a 1w draw for the 750Mhz PPC Based processor. The whole thing draws like 20 watts, total. Incredible.

By BansheeX on 9/22/2008 11:41:53 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm guessing they have a bunch of unused 945s lying around. Kind of lame, really, that's several generations back and newer chipsets are 65nm.

By Clauzii on 9/22/2008 2:03:45 PM , Rating: 3
I'll also be looking forward to the A64 2000+ (2x1GHz) on 8 Watt.

By Goty on 9/22/2008 4:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
AMD has the Geode, but it hasn't has a speed bump in a long time and is currently stuck at 500MHz, if I'm not mistaken.

By OBLAMA2009 on 9/22/2008 5:55:02 PM , Rating: 2
when will this be in stores. i read somewhere else that dual core atom wont be in stores until december even though it "came out" yesterday. netboxes are cool just saw the ee box and it is really small, and definitely good enough for most people too

MS restrictions on XP in netbooks
By Bateluer on 9/22/2008 10:58:20 AM , Rating: 2
Can someone explain to me how MS can do this? Seems like any user with an XP CD could install XP on any netbook, regardless of whether it has a dual core CPU, a single core CPU, a 5in screen, a 7in screen or a 10in screen. If the company making the netbooks already has a stockpile of XP licenses, how does MS have any control over what systems that netbook maker installs them on?

RE: MS restrictions on XP in netbooks
By Master Kenobi on 9/22/2008 11:05:14 AM , Rating: 2
Theres this little thing called Licensing, it sort of comes with this other little thing called Terms and Conditions.

By erikejw on 9/23/2008 11:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
"Theres this little thing called Licensing, it sort of comes with this other little thing called Terms and Conditions. "

Licensing and terms and conditions has nothing to do with it.

You are free to buy your own regular XP disc and install it on the nettop.

All OSs is also preinstalled so you already got an OS that is payed for. The nettop XP is much cheaper than regular XP and that is why they do not sell it for dual core systems and those with AGP slots etc.

In order for any nettop maker to install XP they need to purchase that more expensive version and that does not make sense since the total cost will skyrocket so they will go with some Linux distro.
Why would anyone buy regular XP if they could get the nettop version for half the price.

RE: MS restrictions on XP in netbooks
By trisct on 9/22/2008 11:07:50 AM , Rating: 2
Distributors sign agreements giving MS some power over what they install the OS on, in return for 'bargain' volume pricing. Beyond that, MS can always refuse to sell them the next truckload of XP (or any MS software for that matter) licenses, leaving their product offering cut short or suddenly a loss-maker at the current price if they lose the OS discounts.

The netbook maker has to protect their bottom line, the cost of the OS could be 1/3 the bill of materials without those MS pricing agreements that keep everyone in line.

By sigilscience on 9/22/2008 11:04:42 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. If the notebook maker wants to pay full price for the OS, they can install it on whatever they want.

By lightfoot on 9/22/2008 12:53:03 PM , Rating: 5
A two core Atom?

Shouldn't it be called a Diatomic Molecule?

RE: Chemistry
By Joz on 9/22/2008 1:37:42 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Chemistry
By Diesel Donkey on 9/22/2008 1:49:03 PM , Rating: 3
Sure, two nuclei sharing an "electron cloud" of memory. Makes sense to me.

If rumours are true...
By astrodemoniac on 9/22/2008 10:18:20 AM , Rating: 2
...and prices are roughly the same, this will be awesome :)

RE: If rumours are true...
By Trisagion on 9/22/2008 10:33:56 AM , Rating: 2

I don't know where you heard that. According to the articles above, the dual core version will not fit into any existing 'netbook', is designed for low power 'nettops'(whatever that is) ONLY and costs $43 to the single core's $29. Intel does not want this chip in any notebooks.

Extreme Edition Value Version?
By DjiSaSie on 9/23/2008 1:02:44 AM , Rating: 3
I bought an INTEL D945GCLF Mainboard + integrated Atom several months ago, and now intel officially launch the dual core+HT version? ... so this is an "extreme edition" that presenting 4 thread (2 core + 2 logical core), I hope this one have some muscle to run vista, because mine sucks even for a basic task, and Intel advertised it as vista premium ready, I think it means ready for "very patient people".

By mmntech on 9/22/2008 10:30:50 AM , Rating: 2
Why would Intel let the atom die when they're selling them by the truckload? That would be like Microsoft discontinuing Windows XP... oh.

Seriously though, there's nothing wrong with the Atom. I don't know why people think Netbooks should use Core 2 Extremes in them. Netbooks are basically a step up from a PDA and the Atom offers plenty of power for everyday computing tasks. Still, the dual core model should help with some of the processor's deficiencies regarding multitasking and media performance. All that at only 8W TDP. What more could you want?

By omnicronx on 9/22/2008 11:23:26 AM , Rating: 3
Because it is an in-order CPU that although is low power, it is less powerful than a celeron. I just don't see Intel being able to use the same design going forward, both AMD and VIA have chips that should scale much higher with comparable power usage. Also remember part of the northbridge power must be added to the power draw as AMD chips have an onboard memory controller.

By FITCamaro on 9/22/2008 2:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
It's also worlds cheaper than a Celeron. And who's to say future Atoms won't integrate a northbridge?

By dsx724 on 9/22/2008 2:24:30 PM , Rating: 2
because that would hurt intel's chipset business. why do you think Intel kept the chipset discrete for so long? they have crappy chipsets on old fabrication technology so they can fatten their profits. thats why nvidia jumped through to hoops to make Intel chipsets in the first place. too bad nvidia doesn't remember how Intel screwed VIA and Nvidia got screwed.

By omnicronx on 9/22/2008 2:24:45 PM , Rating: 2
And who's to say future Atoms won't integrate a northbridge?
I am not saying it won't, but right now to compare power draw you need to take the northbridge into account. When/if they add it, that 8w max total power draw for the Atom is going to increase significantly. I am just saying, eventually AMD and VIA will have CPUS with a low power draw that compares to the Atom, and their chip designs will be much better for performance/watt. I just don't see them continuing to develop an in-order processor, the performance hit is just too great.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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