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Intel push to come out with Atom quad core

Continuing its drive to bring processors and technologies to market that allow a full mobile device Internet experience, chip giant Intel Corp today announced availability of new versions of its netbook-focused Atom processors (formerly codenamed Diamondville) along with its 4 Series chipsets for mainstream desktop PCs – all as part of its presence at the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan this week.

Sean Maloney, Intel executive VP and general manager of the sales and marketing group, said during the opening keynote at Computex that more powerful microprocessors and high-speed WiMax networks will usher in a new era of the full Internet on mobile devices. “The convergence of mobile computers, WiMax wireless broadband, and powerful, HD-rich computer technologies point to a tremendous growth opportunity. Individuals – not households – will drive the next era of growth with people each owning one or more computing devices. People have an innate desire to be 'connected' all the time and see personalized, mobile technology as the way to meet that need.”

This move is key as the computer industry strives to address the rising trend of creating, storing, and sharing high-definition videos on PCs, as well as double-digit growth in the mobile computing segment, Intel noted. With the emergence of the netbook category in 2008, the company believes this will be the first year that more mobile computing devices will be sold than desktop computers.

Intel reminded that its Atom processor is just one of a variety of high-performance, low-power processors and other advanced computer technologies meant to help the industry address this mobile opportunity with devices at all price points.

For netbooks and nettops, the Atom line (processors pictured left) was designed for low power in small form factors, and is manufactured with Intel’s 45-nm High-k metal gate process that allows smaller chips at a lower cost.

Intel noted that there is already interest from system vendors for these devices including Acer, Asus, ECS, Gigabyte, Malata, Medion, MSI, Quanta, Shuttle, and others.

In addition, Intel is introducing the Z-P230 PATA solid-state drive for value mobile and desktop systems, meant to replace traditional hard disk drives in netbook and nettop systems. The drive is four times smaller and lighter than a standard 1.8-inch hard disk drive, Intel said, noting that the solid-state design eliminates all moving parts, making it more rugged and reliable for mobile designs.

Mainstream computing gets boost

Among its announcements, Intel detailed its 4 Series chipsets that will be used in mainstream desktop PCs run by Intel’s 45-nm Core2 Duo and Core2 Quad processors, aimed at satisfying user demands for storing HD videos, photos, games, and music in one central library with the ability to access it from portable Internet-connected devices while on the go.

“The Internet is going 'high-def.' Desktop PCs with these new chipsets let you enjoy, share and protect your digital life. They have the processing power and graphics to deliver stutter-free HD video playback, improved 3-D performance, and leading storage capabilities,” Maloney said.

The 4 Series chipset includes the G45 Express chipset, which contains an updated Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD, for what the company said are new levels of visual performance and quality, including several “firsts” for Intel platforms such as integrated complete hardware high definition (HD) pipelines for Blu-ray and other HD content playback; the ability to post-process HD content for improved visual quality; and integrated DisplayPort and HDMI with HDCP (High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) keys for digital content link protection.

The 4 Series also contains the P45 Express chipset, which is a follow up to the P35 Express chipset, designed for performance in mainstream platforms and adds support for PCI Express 2.0 with dual graphics configurations and the ability to tune performance beyond its baseline specification.

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