Intel may have shipped 70 million Atom CPUs and may be dominating the market segment, but that doesn't mean it's resting on its laurels.
Today, the chip manufacturer has announced that it is launching a dual-core Atom CPU that may make netbooks a little more capable.
The new processor - dubbed the N550 - will run at 1.5GHz and feature 512KB L2 cache per core. As with the latest single-core Atom CPUs, the chip will offer an integrated graphics core, support for DDR3 memory and support for Intel's HyperThreading technology.
The addition of an extra core will of course push up power-draw, but Intel is promising that netbook longevity won't be hit too badly. We've heard rumours of an 8.5W TDP - only 2W above the single-core models - which, combined with Intel's power-saving features, should still produce impressive battery life.
According to the announcement, Acer, ASUS, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI and Toshiba - among others - are preparing to ship N550-based netbooks, including some that should be available today. However, a quick search of British and American retailers doesn't reveal any systems containing the new CPU just yet.
We've yet to see any real-world benchmarks, but Intel is unsurprisingly promising a smoother, more responsive netbook experience.