26 September 2008

Intel ships dual-core Atom processor

Intel has revealed that the company has started shipping its dual-core Atom 330 processor. The chip is officially intended for very small profile desktops, such as nettops, and potentially gives much more performance than possible with the single-core version. The chip runs at the same 1.6GHz but can handle as many as four program threads at once thanks to built-in Hyperthreading on each core. Its bus speed is also the same at 533MHz but carries a doubled Level 2 cache of 1MB to handle the added workload. Power consumption is exactly double that of the single core Atom but still low at 8W.

The Atom 330 has already been announced for systems from Abaco and Tranquil and will likely arrive in systems from ASUS and others that already produce nettops. A notebook-ready version known as the N330 has been rumored but has yet to surface on Intel's roadmap, although the existing chip is socket-compatible with the mobile editions