Over the past few months there’s been a lot of speculation about whether Intel would manage to launch its next-generation Intel Atom chip (codenamed Pineview) by the end of the year. The latest news from the Intel Developer Forum in San Franciso is yes… kind of.
PC World reports that an Intel official is stating that Pineview chips will be in the hands of PC vendors in the fourth quarter of 2009. But it could take a few more months before we actually start to see netbooks using the next generation processors hit the streets. So while Intel is technically on track to release the chip before the end of the year, you probably won’t be able to buy a netbook with a Pineview processor until Q1 or Q2 of 2010.
The new Atom chips will be smaller and more energy efficient than the Atom N270 and N280 processors found in countless netbooks today. The new chips will also feature a system-on-a-chip design, which means that the graphics controller and CPU will be on the same chip. This should keep costs and energy consumption down, while making life a little more difficult for NVIDIA which is hoping to cash in on the netbook craze with its ION platform that bundles an Atom processor with NVIDIA graphics. If the graphics controller is on the chip, it’s going to be harder to convince PC makers to choose NVIDIA ION over integrated Intel graphics.