Even though Brazos platform from Advanced Micro Devices offers higher performance and better functionality compared to the existing Intel Corp.'s Atom-based netbooks and nettops, Intel will only be able to respond its rival with something new in the fourth quarter of the year.
Intel plans to release its new platform for netbooks and nettops code-named Cedar Trail based on code-named Atom "Cedarview" processor in Q4 2011, according to a document seen by X-bit labs. The new platform for ultra low-cost personal computers will bring a number of improvements in terms of features as well as in terms of performance, which will be an important move as Atom chips barely increased their speed since first introduced in 2008.
Intel Cedarview system-on-chip with a new Atom core will feature DirectX 10.1-capable graphics engine that will have integrated high-definition video decoder (in order to enable Blu-ray disc playback on all Atom-based systems), will support higher clock-speeds, will have improved DDR3 memory controller and will feature digital interfaces for displays. The document by Intel also claims that the new chip will consume lower amount of power, perhaps, because it will be made using 32nm fabrication process.
The new Cedarview processor will continue to utilize the NM10 input/output controller, which should make it easier for manufacturers to transit to the new Cedar Trail platform.
Thanks to integration of high-definition video decoder into the new Atom SoC, all systems powered by the new chip will be able to playback Blu-ray video. Unfortunately, since the new Atom SoC has outdated DirectX 10.1-class graphics core, it will be unable to use it for general purpose computing. As a result, even the forthcoming platform for ULCPCs from Intel will not be able to match AMD's Brazos in terms of functionality in many terms.
Intel did not comment on the news-story.