Leading PC chipmaker Intel announced this week that its third generation Atom mobile processor, formerly code-named “Cedar Trail” is now available, and that systems using the platform will be available in early 2012.
Though Intel is concentrating on “ultrabooks” (i.e. thin and light notebooks with at least a 10″ screen) as the latest growth platform for PCs, the company is not letting netbooks disappear just yet; and these Atom chips are smaller and less power consumptive.
With an estimated 20 percent reduction in power consumption, Intel says this series of Atom processor offers up to 10 hours of active battery life, and “weeks” of standby. With this quality, netbooks can be permanently left on like media tablets are.
Intel’s usual partners (Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba) will be debuting netbooks based on the Cedar Trail platform early in the year, and we expect to see some, if not all of them at the Consumer Electronics Show beginning on January 10.
But the thing we’re most anxious for is Intel’s “Medfield” processor family, which may or may not be displayed at CES this year.
The hardware platform is meant to push Intel and the X86 architecture into the mobile realm, and earlier this year Intel announced it would be developing mobile communications devices running Android. We’re scheduled to sit down with Intel for a chat at CES, so we’re going to find out all we can about this.