In the netbook manufacturing and product development industry, the next big thing is always Intel’s rev of the CPU and chipset. Cue the entry of the Pine Trail CPU and it’s partner I/O Hub chip. Only just this year has Intel shown a willingness to combine functions onto the same processor die. I am very interested to see that the CPU is combining not just the Memory Controller as is the case the top of the line i7 CPU family. Talk about a weight reduction right? The original chipset consisted of no less than 3 processors a North Bridge and South Bridge along with the CPU. Now with the coming of the Pine Trail, it’s a big CPU/GPU/Memory combo and a single I/O hub. I’m hoping the power consumption improves and comes much closer to the proposed specs of the Android based netbooks that will use Smartphone CPUs like Motorola’s or ARM based System-on-Chip custom CPUs. If Intel can combine functions and get battery life for a 3-cell unit to average 8+ hours under even heavy CPU loads, then they will have truly accomplished something. I’m looking forward to the first products to market using the Intel N450, but don’t expect to see them until after Christmas of this year 2009.
It should use the technology behind Pineview and would be made built on a new, 45 nanometer design that merges the memory controller and graphics directly into the processor; accompanying it would be the new-generation Tiger Point chipset, which is needed for and takes advantage of the N450 design.