One of the methods that Intel has used since the netbook revolution began to help prevent the Atom processor and netbooks from cannibalizing higher profit notebook sales was to place limits on the screen size machines featuring the processors could use. That rule is now set to change.
Intel is lifting the panel size limitation on Atom processors for the dual-core Atom 550 set to launch in the second half of 2010. The CPU will be allowed to be stuffed into machines with screens of 11.6-inches and 12.1-inches.
Before this change, the screen size maximum for the processor was 10.2-inches. Netbooks using the N550 will get 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 32GB SSD or a 250GB HDD. DigiTimes reports that Intel plans to move hundreds of millions of netbooks over the next few years. I would bet part of the reason for lifting the screen size limits is to better fight the new AMD platforms that are putting more pressure on Intel.