I was browsing HEXUS.net (What, you haven’t heard of it? No way. Follow them this instant.) and happened across an article about a netbook powered by Cedar Trail, the new Intel Atom architecture.
Something had been sitting in the back of my mind about this new low-powered Intel CPU — it almost made it to my conscious mind when I was talking about Medfield, the CPU in upcoming X86 Android phones — , but the buzz around Ultrabooks made me completely forget netbooks even existed.
Anyway, Cedar trail.
The chip that’s made its way into the Acer Aspire One D270 is clocked at 1.6 GHz, contains two physical cores. Hyperthreading adds 2 virtual cores on top of that, just like in older Atom processors.
What’s most interesting about the new CPU is its 32nm lithography. The general rule of thumb about shrinking the die is that it results in lower power consumption and manufacturing cost(because of the smaller die size).
Lower power consumption means longer battery life. In a world where 4-6 hours on a 4-cell battery no longer cuts it, efficiency is everything and the less a CPU taxes the cells the better.
Sheer processing power remains largely the same as before, with the exception of a nice 2-fold increase in graphics performance, courtesy of the new Intel GMA 3600 integrated pixel-poker. It’ll also use hardware-acceleration to decode full-hd video. Not a bad thing to have, when an HDMI port — finally — makes connecting an HDTV a breeze.
Pre-order price is $280, placing it bang-middle of the netbook cost spectrum.
Below is an unboxing video from minipcpro, action starts at around 6 minutes in.
Oh, and while you’re at it, do read the HEXUS.net article for more info.