From PC World: Intel confirmed on Thursday that it's shipping the Atom N280 processor to PC makers, which should bring more performance and improved graphics capabilities to netbooks.
The new single-core Atom processor is paired with a chipset that allows users to watch high-definition content on netbooks while drawing less power. The new GN40 chipset includes a hardware-based high-definition video decoder that allows users to watch 720p HD video content.
Intel originally perceived Atom chips for netbooks to run basic applications like Web surfing and productivity applications. The capability to decode HD video should allow netbooks to better handle streaming video content, said Bill Calder, an Intel spokesman.
Previous Atom chips -- like the Atom N270 with the 945GSE chipset -- do not include hardware-based HD video decoders. Seeing a void, companies like Nvidia released products to improve netbook graphics capabilities. Nvidia's Ion platform allows netbooks to display 1080p content, for example.
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