Intel releases first dual-core Atom for netbooks, the N550

By on August 23, 2010, 12:19 PM
Intel's first dual-core Atom processor for netbooks, the N550, is about to hit store shelves inside a number of netbooks. The new chip brings a much needed breath of fresh air to a market that has seen impressive growth over the last couple of years but not much action on the hardware specs front. Though the N550 clocks in lower than most Atom chips, at 1.5GHZ, Intel says the extra core plus twice the cache (1MB) should make up for a more "responsive" experience.

This is not the first time a dual core Atom has found its way into a netbook. The Asus Eee PC 1201N, for example, pairs a desktop chip known as the Atom N330 with Nvidia Ion graphics. But the extra performance comes at the expense of battery life. According to Intel, however, netbooks with the new chip will offer similar battery life as single-core Atom N450 offerings -- though it's expected to consume around 3 watts more with a TDP of 8.5W.

The Atom N550 will be made using a 45-nanometer manufacturing process and support DDR3 memory. The new chip will be offered in products by Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba starting today -- though we've yet to spot any netbook announcements besides the Dell Inspiron Mini 1018, which still features the single core N455.

User Comments: 5

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Cueto_99 said:

I own a Dell laptop with a 1.73ghz Core Duo (I think the codename is Yonah), and sometimes I feel it lacks the power to run trivial stuff like Office documents along with a music player and Google Chrome... now, I don't think I could stand an Intel Atom which must be slower, no matter if they come now in dual core style... positively thinking, its a step forward...

Guest said:

I would much prefer a "Quad Sempron" :-)

nismo91 said:

the old N280 (1.66) was no better than 2004 Pentium M 735 (1.70) although it definitely use lesser power.

grvalderrama said:

I don't get it, why does my netbook have 2 threads in the task manager?

Guest said:

Because the Atom is a hyper threaded chip and the N550 has two of the same sort of core so it has 4 threads.

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