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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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By Headfoot on 12/8/2008 2:47:09 PM , Rating: 2
The Atom has to be profitable. It's absolutely tiny, 25mm^2. They get huge amounts of them per 300mm^2 wafer. I remember reading on Anandtech that low power and low cost to manufacture were the primary concerns.

So many have criticized the netbook (various blogs, AMD etc), but I don't think "Atom" and "Netbook" are one and the same. I can see a beefed up Atom powering a 14" small notebook or a "nettop" as they are called.

Netbooks can be small and cramped, but doesn't a low power low cost processor have benefits elsewhere as well?

I believe thats why the Nano and Bobcatt have slightly higher performance and TDP's, because they envision this in MacBook Air style packages that are larger, but not huge. That mega el-cheapo surfing PC's for the bottom-liners.




By Headfoot on 12/8/2008 2:49:30 PM , Rating: 2
I don't mean to say "nettops" and small notebooks are the same; I just made a poor word choice there. I mean Atom can power either "nettops" or small notebooks as seperate entities.


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