Intel plans Atom upgrade for mid-2009

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Some details have emerged regarding the upcoming Intel Atom N280 processor which is due for release by mid-2009. The chip is the successor to the wildly popular N270 that powers pretty much every netbook in the market. However, you shouldn’t expect much of a performance boost with this update, as Intel is apparently not keen on revving up Atom to compete with itself.

The new Intel Atom N280 uses the GN40 chipset and offers a core frequency of 1.66GHz with a front side bus running at 667MHz. That’s a very mild improvement in terms of clock speed, up from 1.6GHz in the older N270, though admittedly the front-side bus gets over a 20% speed boost from the previous 533MHz. The updated graphics chip will likely fare better than the old 945GSE in terms of Blu-ray playback and casual gaming, too.

DigiTimes notes that the bundle of CPU and chipset will be priced at around $60-$65, or $14-$19 dollars more than the current-gen processor, which doesn't sound like much until you consider that is actually a 29-39 percent increase in price over the N270.

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