As anticipated in previous reports, Intel today officially announced three new Atom processors and the low-power NM10 Express chipset that will form the basis for its next-generation Pine Trail platform. The single-core Atom N450 is intended for netbooks, while the single-core D410 and dual-core D510 were built for nettops or what Intel refers to as entry-level desktop PCs.

The new chips are still built on a 45nm process but use anywhere from 20 to 50 percent less power than their predecessors. Based on the Lincroft System-on-Chip architecture, essentially the only major difference compared to previous generation Atoms is that these incorporate the memory and graphics controllers onto the processor package, which reduces the footprint by around 60 percent and speeds up communication with the CPU.

Don't expect a major performance upgrade, though, as all three processors are still running at 1.66GHz. The Atom N450 has 512K of L2 cache and, together with the NM10 Express chipset, draws 7 watts. The D410 has 512K of L2 cache and a 12-watt total kit TDP, while the D510 has 1MB of L2 cache and a 15-watt power draw.

Systems based on Pine Trail should launch just ahead of CES, on January 4th, and will include Asus' Eee PC 1005PE, a new version of the Dell Mini 10, and a number of netbooks from Acer, MSI, Lenovo and Samsung.