Following a good few months of delays, Intel has today finally introduced its third-generation Atom processors, the 32nm chips codenamed Cedar Trail.
While still paired up with the NM10 Express chipset found in Pine Trail-based systems, the 'Cedar Trail' CPUs bring quite a few updates, including the already mentioned 32nm process (enabling higher clocks and a drop in power draw of up to 20% for the whole platform), plus a media engine that allows for Full HD (1080p) video playback and Blu-ray support, an integrated memory controller supporting DDR3-800/1066 memory, and updated, but still DirectX 9-enabled graphics (Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 based on the PowerVR SGX 545 from Imagination Technologies).
Intel's new Atoms also bring more display output options (HDMI, DisplayPort), Intel Wireless Display capabilities, the Rapid Start Technology enabling fast resume from standby mode, and the Smart Connect Technology which will update email, Twitter and RSS feeds automatically, even in sleep mode.
The Cedar Trail offering includes four processors, two targeting netbooks - the Atom N2600 and N2800, and two for nettops and entry-level all-in-one desktops, the D2500 and D2700. All these chips feature two x86 cores and 512 KB of L2 cache per core.
The N2600 and N2800 are clocked at 1.60 GHz and 1.86 GHz, respectively, while the D2500 and D2700 are set to 1.83 GHz and 2.13 GHz, respectively. With the exception of the D2500, all Cedar Trail CPUs have four threads. As expected, the netbook-focused models also feature a lower TDP, with the Atom N2600 reaching 3.5W, while the N2800 tops 6.5W. In contrast, the D2700 goes double-digit and has a TDP of 10W.
Systems based on the Cedar Trail platform are expected to arrive early next year from the likes of Asus, Samsung, Lenovo, HP, Acer, Toshiba and others.