Intel has quietly added a pair of next-generation Atom processors to Ark, its online archive of product specifications. The chips are part of the Cedar Trail platform, whose Cedarview CPUs are the first Atoms to be built on 32-nm process technology. Existing Pineview Atom CPUs are fabbed on a 45-nm process.
So, how does the new hotness compare? Like so. The latest Atom D2500 and D2700 chips run at 1.86 and 2.13GHz, respectively, so they're faster than their predecessors. They'll work with quicker memory, too. Pineview's memory controller only supports DDR3 memory speeds up to 800MHz, but Cedarview can push the memory clock to 1066MHz.
Although clock speeds are up, power consumption is down. The new Atoms have a 10W TDP, which is 3W lower than Pineview. This improvement is particularly impressive in light of the fact that Cedarview is supposed to feature DirectX 10.1-class integrated graphics with robust video decoding capabilities, which would be a big upgrade over the GPU built into Pineview.
Last month, the rumor mill suggested that Intel was having problems with Cedarview graphics drivers, which might be limited to DirectX 9 and 32-bit operating systems to start. Intel's driver site does little to dispel that notion; it doesn't have any drivers listed for the D2500 or D2700 just yet. We've asked Intel about the state of its Cedarview graphics drivers and will update this post when we have an official response.
If you were hoping the arrival of the D2500 and D2700 means that next-gen Atom netbooks are imminent, you might want to hold tight. The D-series chips are meant for nettops, and Intel hasn't lifted the lid on any N-series derivatives targeted at the mobile market. The fact that the new CPUs are $11-21 cheaper than the old models is encouraging, though.
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