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Intel shows off future Netbooks

Intel plans to roll out its next generation of Netbook-specific Atom processors this year, with systems available around the holidays.

A 'Cedar Trail' Netbook flourished at Intel's developer conference on Tuesday in China.
A "Cedar Trail" Netbook flourished at Intel's developer conference on Tuesday in China. Intel

No sooner had Intel announced its newest Atom chip for tablets than the company rolled out its next-gen "Cedar Trail" Atom processor due in Netbooks this holiday season. The chipmaker brandished new Netbooks based on the next-generation Atom processor and touted its tablet strategy at a developer conference in China today.

Cedar Trail Netbooks will be "quieter, thinner, lighter than current Netbooks," according to Doug Davis, general manager of the Netbook and tablet group at Intel. Davis was speaking at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing, where he showed off a future Cedar Trail Netbook and an Intel Classmate PC that will use the future Atom chip. The event was streamed over the Web.

Davis also mentioned that Intel has shipped 90 million processors into the Netbook segment to date, which means Apple still has to ship tens of million more iPads to even begin to catch up to Netbook numbers.

New features coming to Intel-based Netbooks.
New features coming to Intel-based Netbooks. Intel

Other Cedar Trail goodies include improved "frequency" (speed), enhanced graphics silicon, and cooler running chips--the latter he characterized in techno-speak as a "50 percent lower thermal design point."

All of this will be done on Intel's 32-nanometer manufacturing process. Currently, Atom processors are built on an older 45-nanometer process.

Davis also had a lot to say about tablets and said the chipmaker is investing in the tablet-specific user experience in China, dubbed the "PRC Plus Experience."

He cited the results of a survey in China showing that 41 percent of respondents had an extreme interest in purchasing a tablet in the next year, an interest level considerably higher than the U.S., according to Davis.