The bad news: Intel's new dual-core Atom processors won't be appreciably more powerful than what's in your netbook now. The good news: a Pine Trail netbook reference design Intel introduced today at Computex is only slightly thicker than an iPhone.
Intel was able to halve the thickness of the current generation of netbooks with their new Canoe Lake "innovation platform", which employs thermal cooling for Pine Trail netbooks instead of the traditional fans. The end result: a super-slim form factor that also runs less hot than today's models. It's important to keep in mind that this is just a reference design, and that we're likely a long ways off from actually seeing a 14mm netbook on a Best Buy shelf.
Those dual-core Atoms, on the other hand, will start showing up in products in time for the holiday. The advances are incremental: improved 720p playback (though you'll still need Broadcom's Crystal HD video decoder for 1080p) and slightly snappier responsiveness.
All of which is great - but wake me when Canoe Lake becomes a reality.
Computex: Ambitious Intel® Atom™ Processor Plans, Products Outlined
• Intel highlighted new product plans for Intel® Atom™ processor family: "Pine Trail" mobile
dual-core and "Oak Trail" processors optimised for tablets and sleek netbook form factors.
• Disclosed razor-thin "Canoe Lake" innovation platform – a futuristic dual-core netbook
measuring in at 14 millimeters – the world's thinnest netbook.
• Demonstrated cross-device experiences based on Intel's unique ‘port of choice' software
strategy including Windows*, MeeGo* and Google operating systems.
• Outlined expansion: Future System on a Chip (SoC) Intel® Atom™ processors scale to
deliver PC-like computing platforms for cars, smartphones, handhelds, TVs, tablets, on a
choice of software.
COMPUTEX, Taipei, June 1, 2010 – At Computex today, Intel Corporation unveiled new
products and features based on its low-power Intel® Atom™ processor family, including plans
to further differentiate the popular netbook category and expand into several new market
segments beyond its growing PC, laptop and server businesses.
In the past 45 days, Intel and its Atom™ processor has entered a variety of markets
beyond the more than 50 million Intel-based netbooks sold in the past 2 years. Intel announced a
processor and MeeGo* software win with Chinese carmaker HawTai Automobile for a future in-
vehicle-infotainment platform; a greater than 50-times lower platform idle power reduction with
Intel's next generation Atom™ processor platform for handheld devices including smartphones;
and a collaboration with Google*, Sony* and Logitech* to deliver a new Smart TVs experience
powered by Intel Atom™ CE products and running Android*-based Google TV*.
Intel recently unveiled the future System on Chip (SoC) Atom™-based "Tunnel Creek"
that, for the first time, will allow other companies to connect their own custom silicon to Intel's
SoC product. The Intel® Atom™ processor also powers the Intel® Reader, and the company has
received more than 3,000 non-PC design inquiries – most new-to-Intel potential customers –
ranging from fish finders to golf carts.
During his keynote, David (Dadi) Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general
manager, Intel Architecture Group, touched on these and other Intel efforts, which included
showing off the world's thinnest netbook running on the upcoming mobile dual-core "Pine
Trail." At just 14mm, the razor-thin "Canoe Lake" innovation platform runs cooler and is 50
percent thinner than any other netbook consumers can find on the market today. In addition,
Perlmutter showed a range of other Intel® Atom™-based devices spanning energy efficient
blade servers, retailing systems, presentation projectors and multiple tablets
"Intel believes the strength of the Atom™ franchise can help consumers realise the true
potential for a common experience to enable the compute continuum," said Perlmutter. "With
platforms ranging from compact and portable netbooks, to Smart TV experiences and innovative
tablets designs, Intel Architecture is driving innovative products based on a unique ‘port of
choice' software strategy."
Citing a million PCs sold a day1, Perlmutter also highlighted the momentum around the
all new 2010 Intel® Core™ processor family, including Intel® Wireless Display and an
overview of next-generation Intel® Core™ processors using the Intel microarchitecture
codenamed "Sandy Bridge," targeted to be in production late 2010.
Renee James, senior vice president and general manager of the Software and Services
Group at Intel, joined Perlmutter onstage to discuss how software – and software choice – will
help drive Intel's vision for Atom™ and a cross-device experience. This provides consumers
consistency and accessibility to their content on a choice of computers and PC-like devices.
James also announced that Asus will be the first OEM to ship a pre-installed, customised AppUp
client called "asus app store" on netbooks this fall, beginning with Windows and following with
Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci discussed with Perlmutter how future Intel® Atom™-based
netbooks and tablets from Acer, running the MeeGo* software platform, will foster an open
ecosystem of innovation.
"Acer will be ready with MeeGo-based mobile devices," said Lanci. "MeeGo's open
software platform will present our customers with another choice of a friendly, easy-to-use
operating system. We are pleased to collaborate with Intel in our continuous drive to provide
effortless technologies that empower people at work, home - anytime, anywhere."
New Intel® Atom™ Processors on Tap
In production now and on shelves before the winter holiday season, mobile dual-core
Intel® Atom™ processors will deliver a noticeably snappier, more responsive consumer
experience in the same compact form factors, and with the same great battery life. Intel®
Atom™ processors N455 and N475 with DDR3 support for netbooks are available today and
D525 and D425 for entry-level desktop PCs are expected to be available on June 21. Available to
customers in early 2011, "Oak Trail" is our upcoming SoC Intel® Atom™ platform optimized
for sleek tablet and netbook designs, delivering up to a 50 percent reduction in average power
consumption with full HD-video playback and targeting software choice including MeeGo*,
Windows* 7 and Google operating systems.