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Intel gets Atoms out ahead of CES

Dual-cores for dying markets

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Intel says shipments have started on its latest lines of dual-core Atom processors, formerly known as Cedar Trail, and that it’s aiming them at the netbook and healthcare markets.

The new processors - announced ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas next month - are fused with Intel’s Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 to give twice the performance of current designs, enough for full 1080p high-definition video. This comes with a 20 per cent reduction in power and 10 hours of use - and apparently “weeks” of standby time on sample devices.

Intel’s N2600 and N2800 Atoms (it’s keeping the name after all) are slimline wireless chips aimed at bolstering the troubled netbook market. Intel also announced it would begin shipping D2500 and D2700 processors for the thin client and high-end embedded market in the first quarter of next year.

The announcement before CES allows manufacturers a talking point for the next round of netbooks and tablets at the show. HP, Lenovo, Asus, Acer and Toshiba will have models out early next year – as too will Samsung, despite suggestions to the contrary. Dell however is staying out, having decided the netbook market is dying.

As for the business of dying, Intel is hoping for major sales of the chipset in the healthcare industry. ARBOR technology has plans for a bedside terminal that will keep patients entertained and “improve workflow management and work efficiency, reduce human error, and enhance healthcare quality,” Intel said in a statement.

The chips are built around Intel’s Medfield 32nm process technology, and the company is touting not only the power and processing savings that come from that, but also the slimness of the design for the tablet market. ARM and Apple/Samsung may not be troubled by this. ®

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