When Intel first released their low-power Atom processors, manufacturers scrambled to get their hands on them in order to get in on the netbook fad. Over the past couple years, Intel has been constantly expanding this line, even releasing a few dual-core varieties along the way. However, up till now these dual-cores have only been available for low-power desktops and nettops. Back in April, Intel gave word they would be working to bring such chips to the netbook platform. Well now that time has come.
With the recent release of the Atom N550 processor, major manufacturers have now begun to ship dual-core equipped netbooks. These manufacturers include Intel's usual partners Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI, and Toshiba.
"In their short history, the netbook category has experienced impressive growth," said Erik Reid, director of marketing for mobile platforms at Intel. "Having shipped about 70 million Intel Atom chips for netbooks since our launch of the category in 2008, there is obviously a great market for these devices around the world."
Intended to provide enough power for entry-level gaming and a smooth multimedia experience, the N550 features a clock speed of 1.5GHz, support for 2GB DDR3 memory, and Intel's HyperThreading technology. The step up to two cores has only resulted in an increase of 3W TDP to 8.5W over the single-core N450, so battery-life should remain quite solid with the new chip.
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