Intel Offers Peek At Atom-Based Cedar Trail Processors

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Intel says its Atom-based Cedar Trail processors will run inside mobile and desktop hardware beginning in the second half of 2011. This week at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, the company is talking about new features it's building into the platform.

Cedar Trail, the next version of the Atom platform, is built on 32-nm technology and designed to run inside netbooks, entry-level desktops and all-in-one PCs. New features include support for Blu-ray 2.0, HDMI and DisplayPort as well as a dedicated full 1080p video playback engine.

In a Monday interview, Mark Miller, director of outbound marketing for Intel’s Netbook and Tablet Group, said the goal is to make netbooks capable of handling a wider range of computing tasks. "We’re really taking the traditional netbook and increasing it with a number of new features for media use as well as performance," he said. "We’re finding that gaming is becoming increasingly popular so we’ve added graphics capabilities, 1080p and so forth. It adds up to a pretty exciting reinvigoration of the netbook category.”

Intel last week launched its Atom Z670 Oak Trail Processors, which are built on 45-nm technology, and Miller said the company plans to continue accelerating the Atom line.

“We’re saying we’re bringing the process technology from 45 nm to 32 nm, and next to 22 nm by 2013, which is essentially faster than Moore’s Law,” Miller said. “That allows us to do pretty exciting things on the chip, including improved performance, battery life, and, frankly, cost structures.”

Miller said Intel plans to migrate its product portfolio to low-power devices, offering single-core and dual-core versions of Atom, while differentiating its platform and maintaining performance levels.

“In the world of netbooks and tablets, battery life is king,” Miller said. “It feels like the PC market all over again in some ways. As we migrate down, we’ll hit leadership levels in battery life as well as performance and adding features. This is the strength of Intel over the last thirty or forty years of its existence.”

Next: Channel Interest In New Atom Platforms

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