It was rumored that Intel’s new dual-core Atom processor, the Atom N550, would only be allowed in 10.1 inch netbooks. Now, Digitimes is reporting that Intel has decided to lift that restriction, stating that:
Intel plans to launch a dual-core Atom processor, the Atom N550, in the second half of 2010, and will also lift restrictions on the panel sizes of netbooks using the CPU, meaning vendors will be allowed to bring out 11.6-inch and 12.1-inch models, according to sources from notebook players.
Intel’s previous Atom CPUs carry restrictions which do not allow devices to have a panel size larger than 10.2-inch, to avoid netbooks cutting into demand for traditional notebooks.
Wow! That’s great! Intel is so nice! Now I can buy a 12.1 inch netbook with a dual core Atom! You know what make this announcement even more exciting? If Atom netbooks with 11.6 and 12.1 inch screens didn’t ALREADY EXIST. Take, for example, the 12.1 inch ASUS 1201N, which has an Atom N330 processor. What the article is presumably referring to are restrictions on Intel’s current Pinetrail based Atoms, which don’t show up in products larger than 10.2 inches. So, I guess it is kind of Intel to allow these products into the market with the most recent technology, but I’m more than a little bitter than Intel took them away in the first place.