Intel unveiled a few details about the company’s next generation Atom processor, codenamed “Pineview.” Somewhat confusingly, Pineview chips will use a new technology Intel is calling “Pine Trail,” which basically combines the graphics, memory controller and CPU onto a single chip. Today’s Atom chips are just CPUs. The graphics and memory controller functions are relegated to the surrounding chipset.
The Intel Atom Pineview processor, which is due out during the fourth quarter of 2009, won’t be a complete system on a chip. Some features like the I/O hub will still take place on the chipset. But Pineview processors should be cheaper to produce, smaller than current generation Atom processors, and faster.
What I’m still waiting to see is how the Pine Trail/Pineview platform handles Flash video at resolutions higher than 1024 x 600 pixels. While I’ve been pretty happy with the performance available in today’s Intel Atom “Diamondville” processors on most netbooks, they’re really not up to the task of playing web video on high resolution displays like those found on the Asus Eee Top all-in-one PC or the HP Mini 2140 with a high resolution display.