Intel's Atom chips are well known for being the low-cost alternative to "better" processors on the market, and up until now, it's been a general rule of thumb that their presence in the mobile industry has been stymied to a single-core layout. Their dual-core processors are well known in the desktop realm, where tradition speaks that more power is needed (even if dual-core Atom chips don't offer that much power). But it looks like the times are changing, because a rumor has begun to sprout that something in the dual-core vein of things is on the way to a netbook near you.
According to a report from PC Inpact, Intel is currently in the works to create a dual-core Atom chip the smaller laptops of the world. Why is this a big deal? Simply because up until now, if a manufacturer wanted to put a dual-core layout in their netbook, they had to use architecture from a desktop chip. Which means resources may run great, but the bottom of your netbook may get a bit hot, and your battery may drain a lot faster. Chips created for netbooks specifically don't generally have this power, as they are essentially optimized for the form factor.
The report goes on to say that the chip itself could be called the N500. Intel's latest chip is the D510, so the number designation makes perfect sense. As does the letter, considering the majority of Intel's netbook-oriented chips have begun with N. We haven't heard word about a price or availability date, but considering that this considered still an unconfirmed rumor, there's no surprise there. PC Inpact claims that the report came from companies working directly with Intel, so maybe there is some truth to this tale. Only time will tell.