Intel's upcoming Atom processor is all about cost. And the Atom-based Nettop desktop cuts costs right down to the bone.
Though Atom Netbooks such as future Asus Eee PC notebook models have been described in the press, the Nettop concept is not so clear. So, what is a Nettop?
The Nettop falls under the rubric of Intel's "Basic PC" category, whose underlying thrust is penny pinching. Cost will range from $100 to $299.
The Nettop is centered on the low-cost "Diamondville" variety of the Atom processor but incorporates a number of other cost-saving measures including what Intel lists in a "Business Client Group" presentation as "no system fans...no CPU socket...(an) optimized PSU (power supply unit)" and "cost optimized OS solutions."
Intel also states that "moving from HDD to SSD" (from hard disk drives to solid-state drives) will result in "additional platform savings."
Internet connectivity is what a user will be using the Nettop for primarily. Machines will run either Windows or Linux software.
Intel in the same presentation cites a forecast of 60 million "Basic Nettop" units by 2011.