Spy photos show dual-core Atoms

Rumors about dual-core Atom processors have been swirling around the web since early March (if not earlier), but dual-core Atoms themselves have remained elusive. Until now. Both Engadget Chinese and Tranquil PC’s Weblog, the blog of the titular British small-form-factor PC maker, have posted photos depicting an Atom CPU package with two dice mounted on it.

Assuming we’re not looking at Photoshops (the images certainly look authentic enough), Intel is going about making dual-core Atoms the same way it tackled dual-core Pentium Ds and quad-core Core 2 Quads. Using two small dice instead of a single big one may help cut manufacturing costs, although the chips may have to communicate through the front-side bus as a result. If that’s the case, the 533MHz FSB of Atom desktop mobos may act as somewhat of a bottleneck.

According to the Tranquil PC Weblog, this new dual-core specimen is dubbed Atom2 Z330. Each of the CPU’s two cores features Hyper-Threading support, so Windows reports four “cores” in the Task Manager. Desktop performance is supposedly “very very snappy.”

Update: Several readers point out that dual-core Atoms have started trickling into the market as part of new Intel D945GCLF2 motherboards.

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