Storm of new netbooks launched with Intel's latest processor

Intel launch Atom N550 dual-core netbook CPU

Chipmaker Intel has launched the dual-core Atom N550 aimed at netbooks which the company said consumed the same power as the firm’s single core N450.

With the launch of the latest dual-core Atom, a number of netbooks were released from manufacturers such as Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI and Toshiba. Intel said that it had shipped more than 70 million Atom processors since its launch in 2008.

The Atom N550 operates at 1.5GHz and contains 1MB of cache and support for DDR3 memory. Intel said that the N550 would mean "consumers can enjoy Internet access on the go with a more responsive experience in the same compact form factor."

"In their short history, the netbook category has experienced impressive growth," said Intel mobile platform marketer Erik Reid. "Having shipped about 70 million Intel Atom chips for netbooks since our launch of the category in 2008, there is obviously a great market for these devices around the world."

Taiwanese netbook giant Asus had jumped the gun on the Intel netbook "pinetrail" Atom CPUs and opted to fit the keenly anticipated Nvidia ION 2-powered Eee PC 1215N with the "net top" D525 clocked at 1.8GHz. 

While faster dual-core Atom processors will do much to benefit the budget netbook category, there is still a gulf in performance between the Atom range and Intel’s ULV processors aimed at higher end sub notebooks. 

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