Following a lengthy period at the heart of pretty much every netbook computer on the market, Intel is finally getting ready to drop its current generation N270 and N280 Atom processors in favor of the new Pine Trail platform. According to X-bit labs, a soft launch is scheduled to take place on December 21, with a raft of netbooks based on the new chips hitting the CES show floor in January.

The new platform integrates a microprocessor core, graphics processor, and north bridge functionality into a single piece of silicon, code-named Pineview, while a separate Tiger Point chipset will handle I/O operations. The upcoming announcement in December will likely revolve around the single-core N450, a 1.66GHz part with a 521KB cache, HyperThreading and 64-bit support.

On the desktop side there will be the dual-core D510 and single-core D410 running at 1.66GHz, while a second, more powerful mobile part, the 1.83GHz N470, is expected later in 2010. The article suggests Intel is planning for a fast transition to Pine Trail, steering PC vendors away from the older offerings whenever possible. If previous rumors are accurate, the Atom N450 will be priced at $64, or $20 more than the currently available 1.6GHz N270, while the N470 will cost $75.