Intel pumps up netbook power

Chip giant Intel has started shipping its new Atom N280 processor and accompanying GN40 chipset to netbook vendors

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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  February 8, 2009

Chip giant Intel has started shipping its new Atom N280 processor and accompanying GN40 chipset to netbook vendors. The CPU and chipset were originally scheduled for a late 2009 launch.

The new CPU features a 60MHz clock frequency boost over its predecessor the N270 and also runs on a faster 667MHz front side bus (FSB), rather than 533MHz. The N280 however is still a single core processor like its predecessor.

The GN40 chipset supports 667MHz FSB CPUs and features built-in video acceleration features. The chipset is said to be capable of decoding 720p HD content, making it possible for future netbook owners to watch HD content on their machines.

The chipset is a direct competitor to nVidia’s ‘Ion’ platform, which is also designed to bring HD video content to netbooks. Netbooks based on Ion are expected to become available on the market by the second quarter of 2009.

Asus has already launched its EEE PC 1000HE netbook, which uses the new Intel hardware and a number of other netbook vendors are expected to follow in the coming weeks.

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