Intel have announced some good news for anybody looking for increased performance over the current single core Atom CPU. The dual-core Atom 330, most recently reported delayed until Q4 2008, now looks to be close to its original launch estimate; Intel are suggesting the chip will be available in September this year. More details of the motherboard/chip package have also been released.
Expected to comprise two 1.6GHz cores, each with HyperThreading (offering four virtual cores to a compatible OS) and the same 533MHz bus as the single-core version, the Atom 330 is expected to be significantly faster. Intel have announced that it will be partnered with an updated version of the company's D945GCLF2 motherboard, now with gigabit ethernet and 6-channel HD audio.
However it does mean the dual-core Atom will continue to make do with a single DIMM slot and single PCI slot, as well as no DVI output. Many had hoped that the processor would be coupled with a higher-performance 'board, but Intel presumably chose a more basic system so as to keep prices down. Perhaps it has worked: the company claims over a dozen chassis manufacturers have signed up to the new platform.