updated 08:55 am EDT, Wed August 20, 2008
Intel Dual Core Atom IDF
Intel at its Developer Forum is quietly providing new details of its widely reported dual-core Atom processor. Although not providing all formal details itself, the company is expected to launch an Atom 330 with twin cores at 1.6GHz and will be built on a 45 nanometer process that reduces the amount of power use despite the additional core. The chip should remain on the same 533MHz system bus.
Other details of the processor itself are still unknown, though past leaks have pointed to a continued use of Hyperthreading that would let each core handle as many as two code threads at one time and create up to four effective cores with optimized apps. A doubled Level 2 cache of 1MB should also help improve performance.
The semiconductor firm has already confirmed that its initial implementation will include at least a desktop version for nettops and other very low-power, budget systems. A new mainboard, the D945GCLF2, will fit into any mini-ITX case and will include both GMA 950 integrated graphics as well as support for up to 2GB of memory in a single slot, gigabit Ethernet, as well as equal pairs of Parallel and Serial ATA connections for storage.
A launch for the new mainboard is scheduled for September and should be accompanied by the Atom 330 itself; an N330 for netbooks and other very small mobile systems hasn't been confirmed but is possible given a predicted power consumption of just eight watts, or less than half the energy needed for most of Intel's low-voltage Core 2 Duo processors.