New Atom for netbooks coming later this year

Netbooks based on a new, slightly faster Atom processor will start hitting stores some time between April and September, according to DigiTimes. Intel will dub this updated chip Atom N280, and Asus, Acer, and Gigabyte should all release notebooks equipped with it.

What makes the Atom N280 different? Reportedly, the CPU will run at 1.66GHz with a 667MHz front-side bus, up from 1.6GHz with a 533MHz FSB for the current Atom N270. Intel will charge a little more for it ($60-65 instead of $46), and it will couple it with a "GN40" chipset. DigiTimes' report is a little short on details, though.

Still, Asus is allegedly cooking up a new Eee PC 1004DN netbook based on the Atom N280 (and that system seems to have shown up at CES). DigiTimes doesn't make it clear whether the N280 will be an incremental step up from the N270 or if it'll be based on Intel's new Lincroft core. Unlike the current Diamondville and 945GSE chipset combo, Lincroft will have a graphics processor, memory controller, and video encoding/decoding logic built right in.

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