The first Pineview Atom processor might hit stores as part of new netbooks on January 3, if Fudzilla got its facts straight yesterday. Dubbed the Atom N450, that chip will have a built-in graphics core and a new single-chip I/O hub tied to it, but the microprocessor component will still run at 1.66GHz—the same speed as the current Atom N280.
Now, Fudzilla writes that Intel will supplement the N450 with a higher-clocked Pineview chip in March. This Atom N470 will purportedly run at 1.86GHz with the same 512KB of L2 cache and the same FCBGA8 package as the 1.66GHz N450. Intel will charge $75 for the faster chip and $64 for its slower sibling, Fudzilla adds.
Intel has already released dual-core Atom processors for nettops and a 2GHz Atom for mobile Internet devices, but its netbook-specific CPUs have topped out at 1.66GHz for a long while now. We'd wager Intel doesn't want to cannibalize sales of faster, full-featured Celeron, Pentium, and Core CPUs, especially now that consumer ultra-low-voltage laptops are taking off. Still, a faster Atom may come in handy in more upscale netbooks that emphasize portability and long battery life over low cost.