Availability in early 2012
Following several lengthy delays, Intel has finally officially released Cedar Trail processors, its next generation 32nm Atoms.
A couple of months ago we reported that Cedar Trail will indeed be delayed to 2012 and Intel is now saying that the chips should appear in early 2012. So far Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Toshiba and Samsung are on board and they are expected to announce netbooks and nettops based on the new chips shortly.
From a technical standpoint, Cedar Trail will offer a few significant advantages over current generation chips, but don’t expect any revolutionary performance boost. Thanks to the 32nm process, Intel claims netbooks based on the new chips will feature up to 10 hours of battery life. In the graphics department, the new GMA 3600/3650 integrated GPUs promise a twofold performance increase, but it still remains to be seen whether they will end up faster than AMD’s HD 6310 used in Brazos series chips.
However, Intel will have a clear advantage over AMD in power consumption. The 1.6GHz Atom N2600 features a TDP of just 3.5W, a lot less than any currently available AMD APU. The N2800 is clocked at 1.86GHz and it has a TDP of 6.5W, while the 2.1GHz D2700 features a 10W TDP.
Cedar Trail is the third iteration of Intel’s frugal Atom series chips, but we are starting to wonder whether it could be one of the last generations aimed solely at netbook and nettop computers. Netbooks demand is already seeing a sharp decline and Intel seems to be more interested in Atom variants designed specifically for tablets, smartphones, embedded solutions and micro servers.