Intel rolls out faster Atom processor


Chip giant Intel ( INTC ) is introducing the latest iteration of its Atom processor, the N550, today.

Atom chips power many of the netbooks on the market; they're also used in nettops, or tiny desktop computers with netbook internals. The Atom is far less powerful than Intel's PC chips, but it also consumes less electricity - making it ideal for low-power, inexpensive netbooks designed for basic computing.

The latest Atom chip has two cores, meaning that it will run more quickly and display graphics more handily than the single-core chips that are the de facto standard in netbooks. It will be able to display 720p high-definition video without breaking a sweat, Intel claims.

Computer manufacturers Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Toshiba and others will begin selling N550-equipped devices Monday.

While netbooks have taken a backseat to Apple 's ( AAPL ) iPad of late, they offer similar functionality at a much lower price point. And they have been popular in the past few years: Since the introduction of the Atom chip two years ago, Intel mobile-platform marketing director Erik Reid said, more than 70 million of the processors have been shipped.

"There is obviously a great market for these devices around the world," he noted.

By Benjamin Foster ADNFCR-1724-ID-19929564-ADNFCR

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Business , Technology

Referenced Stocks: AAPL , INTC News News

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