Let's face it, the Intel Atom CPU may be very power efficient and extremely cheap, but that's because it is essentially rubbish.
Hopefully going someway to changing that is a report from Fudzilla which claims Intel will introduce two new chips - the ‘N450' and ‘N470' - in early Q1. The N450 has been rumoured for some time, but it is the latter which really peaks our interest.
Like the N450, it will integrate graphics and the memory controller onto a single chip to cut the TDP (Thermal Design Power) to 6.5 watts. By contrast the current N270 only uses 2.5 watts, but given the separate graphics controller the N470 should best it overall. Significantly, the N470 will also clock in at a faster 1.83GHz and feature an increased 667MHz FSB.
2010 will be a big year for Intel. So-called smartbooks (even smaller, cheaper netbooks running Linux variants and using ARM-based processors) should start to emerge and though Intel holds the Windows ace card (ARM processors are currently not supported by any flavour of Windows - including Windows 7) it should see the sector heat up even further.
Or in short: the pressure is on for Atoms to be less crap...