Intel's next Atom CPU might be going dual-core

Intel plans to launch its first dual-core Atom-based CPU in Q3.

With Intel's new low-power Atom CPU for Netbook-style laptops (and other ultraportable devices) just starting to see the light of day, industry watchers are already pointing to that chip's successor.

According to rumors first reported on the Web site Fudzilla, "Intel plans to launch its first dual-core Atom-based CPU in Q3....The new dual-core Atom will end up branded as the Atom 330, and just as the single-core Atom 230, the dual-core CPU will end up at 1.6GHz....It has 1MB cache memory, which is twice as much as the single-core Atom 230."

That's good news for fans of small portable systems such as the Asus Eee PC or even UMPCs like the Samsung Q1 Ultra--these devices are hampered by single-core CPUs, and the first generation of Atom CPUs are expected to do more for power consumption than performance.

Of course, this doesn't precisely match up with this supposedly leaked ultramobile CPU roadmapfrom Intel (which calls for a faster 1.8GHz chip with similar specs), but that's why we call 'em rumors.

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