HP negotiating looser Intel Atom N270 usage rules?

According to a DigiTimes report, HP are in negotiations with Intel regarding the chipmaker's Atom CPU restrictions.  Sourcing Taiwan-based notebook manufacturers, the claim is that HP want to use the Intel Atom processor in notebooks with displays larger than the usual 10.2-inches; HP's roadmap for 2009 includes an 11.6-inch model in Q2 and a 13.3-inch model in June.  The negotiations presumably concern the N270 Atom CPU, rather than the Z-series.

Dell currently uses the Atom Z530 in their Inspiron Mini 12 netbook; this has a 12.1-inch display, versus the 10-inch Inspiron Mini 9 that uses Intel's N270 processor.  The most likely theory is that HP do not want to be subject to the same limitations Dell must have faced in developing the Mini 12: Intel limit the Z-series processors to 1,366 x 768 maximum resolution with GMA500 graphics, together with PATA storage.  The chips were previously also limited to up to 1GB of RAM.

Intel's GMA950 graphics, however, which are paired with the N270 Atom chip, are capable of driving up to 2048 x 1536 resolutions; storage options are also broader.  Sources expect the HP/Intel negotiations to conclude by the end of January, and suggest that HP's brand image and high volumes will see it successful.

[via jkOnTheRun]