Intel is confirming that the new Intel Atom N280 processor with the GN40 chipset is now shipping. The news shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, since the Asus Eee PC 1000HE which uses the new chipset is already available for preorder.

The new CPU has a top clock speed of 1.66GHz, which makes it a tiny bit faster than the Intel Atom N270 CPU which tops out at 1.6GHz. But the real news is that the GN40 chipset is designed to add better support for 720p HD videos than you get with the current Intel 945GSE chipset thanks to a hardware based video decoder.

The Intel Atom N280 also has a faster front side bus speed than the original Atom chip, but draws about the same amount of power.

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