There must be more nuclear physicists over at Intel (s INTC) than I realized; they’re splitting Atoms faster than any scientific team I know of these days. Take their latest bit of research according to DigiTimes: The new Intel Atom N280 CPU is splitting the scene even though it just surfaced at this year’s CES.
Apparently, there isn’t much demand for the slightly faster Atom CPU. My take is that the alleged lack of demand is from OEMs, since their product cycles can be lengthy. Most netbook makers have already long-standardized on the original N270 1.6GHz Atom and there likely isn’t enough benefit from the N280/GN40 chipset combo to make production changes. Aside from using the older Atom for nearly a year, the other likely reason for the N280’s departure is the previously expected Pineview refresh for the Atom.
Intel still isn’t betting on a Microsoft (s MSFT) Windows world when it comes to netbooks, either. That battle rages on, as Intel has reportedly designed a white-box reference netbook. It, too, uses the older Intel Atom and is paired with an 8.9-inch display. The main difference between this device and what you can buy today? It’s powered by Moblin v.2, which is the mobile Linux version that Intel has backed. With Ubuntu 9.04 looking so good on a netbook these days, I’m not yet sure that Intel will be able to make a big dent in the netbook OS war.