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Medfield will feature memory controller, graphics, and I/O on single die

A new roadmap has cropped up that shows the future of Intel's Atom processors that power the majority of netbook computers on the market today. The Atom has proven to be very successful for Intel and future versions will offer even more power and performance.

CNET News reports that the new roadmap shows a new Medfield Atom will debut in 2010. The processor will be built on the 32nm process, where as the current generation Atom parts are built on the 45nm process.

Before 2010 when Medfield pops up, Intel will be releasing Atom processors code named Pineview in 2009. DailyTech has covered the Pineview Atom processors before. The biggest difference between Pineview and today's Atom CPU will be the integration of a GPU core and memory controller onto the processor die.

In 2010, Medfield will integrate onto the die the processor, memory controller, multimedia functions, and I/O onto a single chip. A graphics core would be integrated as well. With this change, the netbook will gain the ability to handle HD video and move from a basic web surfing device into a full function entertainment device.

The information on the future Atom parts comes from a report created by UBS Securities. CNET News quotes the UBS Securities report saying, "[netbooks will evolve] from basic web page consumption to multimedia consumption including high-definition (HD) video."

Another bit of good news to look forward to is that battery life will increase for systems using the new Atom parts. Even with new features like touchscreen and WAN access the run time of netbooks will move from two to three hours up to near five hours according to the report.

Dual-core Atom parts are expected to be offered with the Medfield just as the current generation Atom parts feature dual-core variants.

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RE: Why wait for the future?
By King of Heroes on 12/8/2008 12:50:06 PM , Rating: 5
I agree.

A "fully functional entertainment device" with a 1024 x 600 screen is a waste of time. They need to allow manufacturers to ramp up the screen size before worrying about hardware processing of HD video (I think Intel contractually limits the screen size of the Atom platform to 1024 x 600).

Give Atom-based Netbooks a 1280 x 720 or 1280 x 800 screen, so they can watch actual 720p content in 720p instead of cramming it into a smaller screen which kills the entire point of it, and then you'll have something approacing a 'fully functional entertainment device'.

RE: Why wait for the future?
By Gul Westfale on 12/8/2008 4:33:24 PM , Rating: 2
i have a somewhat related question which i hope someone might answer:

i recently bought an aspire one (linpus/8GB SSD/512MB RAM) because i saw it on special for a lousy $229... i upgraded the RAM and got rid of the craptacular SSD (by ordering a used ipod drive off ebay), but have wondered why acer used the single-core version of the atom. i know of no netbook that uses the duallie, and yet the duallie seems to be only slightly more expensive to buy from intel.

i like the aspire one quite a lot, good keyboard, great screen, and teh performance is better than i had expected, but i would have gladly paid $30 more to get a dual-core CPU.

so does anyone know why there seem to be no duallie netbooks? do they really generate that much more heat/use that much more power?

RE: Why wait for the future?
By nomagic on 12/8/2008 7:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
Dual-core Atom would have performance that matches that of any entry notebooks. At $250 price point, Dual-core Atom will effectively castrate the market for entry notebooks.

Unfortunately, netbooks have lower margin than entry notebooks.

RE: Why wait for the future?
By Visual on 12/9/2008 3:23:00 AM , Rating: 2
there are several atom-based netbooks at 1280 X 768
actually i just ordered this for myself:

i hear it heats up a lot, thats a pity. i bet it's because of the craptacular chipset that goes with atom and not the cpu though. i hope it isn't too bad because i can't return it where i ordered it from.

i think dualcore versions aren't out not because of some anti-netbook conspiracy like many people imply, just because it wasn't available from intel until very recently and manufacturers haven't had time to adapt to it.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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