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Intel Shoots Down Rumors of Atom Z Demise

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

Intel says Atom Z CPUs are still alive and well for OEM orders.

Last week Digitimes reported that Intel was no longer accepting orders of Atom Z-series processors for use in netbooks.

Intel has now debunked the DigiTimes report, saying that it is completely inaccurate.

"Rumors of 'industry sources' stating that Intel is no longer taking Atom Z processors orders for netbooks, or any other products, or ending production by end of year are 100% inaccurate," said an Intel spokesperson to Register Hardware.

Of course, Z-series Atom CPUs will eventually be phased out after the introduction of Pine Trail, which Intel maintains will ship in the later part of this year. Pine Trail is the platform for the new Atom Pineview processor, which integrates the GPU with the CPU for a performance boost.

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  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , August 3, 2009 5:55 PM
    Kind of off topic, but what's the estimated price for Pine Trail?
  • -2 Hide
    Hanin33 , August 3, 2009 6:08 PM
    but can it run Bonzai Buddy?

    all jokes aside, are netbooks still in fashion? i thought everyone realized they were nothing but fancy calculators by now...
  • -3 Hide
    nachowarrior , August 3, 2009 7:07 PM
    the day i buy a netbook is the day that i can play an f-ing game on it, oh, and i have cause to game while on the go.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2009 7:12 PM
    That's all people really need, fancy calculators.
  • 3 Hide
    Greg_77 , August 3, 2009 7:26 PM
    Hanin33but can it run Bonzai Buddy?all jokes aside, are netbooks still in fashion? i thought everyone realized they were nothing but fancy calculators by now...

    Most people do nothing more than use MS Office, surf the web, and email. Were in the minorities of minorities, tech enthusiast. All most people need is a larger version of a smartphone,and even that may be overkill for their uses.
  • -1 Hide
    Kaiser_25 , August 3, 2009 7:43 PM
    True, keep in mind what the average end user is very low level...they are the ones asking how to email stuff as an 'attachment', techies are like maybe 2% of world population id guess.
  • 0 Hide
    bk420 , August 3, 2009 7:53 PM
    I think this ATOMZ chip is going to hurt intels earnings. People on a tight budget will buy this junk and realize that it's only good for Notepad.

    It looks like intel is trying to copy AMD's Conesus platform. Seriously, that ATOM chip is to slow to game or even run vista/windows7.
  • 0 Hide
    nekatreven , August 3, 2009 8:03 PM
    haha...Bonzai Buddy...I remember that.

    In reality, I suspect that if Intel is so insistent that Pine Trail is coming out this year (with much more than half the year already gone) that they have to start thinking about the phase out of the current gen right about, oh...NOW!

    So I think the rumor was on the right track. They probably are planning the phase out of the current gen, but they aren't ready to start actually killing the line and didn't want the orders to fall off a cliff when people heard the end was near. Therefore the "this is 100% false" crap they are spewing. I call bs on that...
  • 0 Hide
    Hanin33 , August 3, 2009 9:10 PM
    i think believing these things are good enough for the masses is a little short sighted. apparently none of you all have actually used one or have had to suffer through web pages chock full of flash and poorly coded javascript that brings systems to a slowdown... i've seen myspace pages bring p4 class machines to a crawl and these are exactly the types of pages the 'masses' would be viewing... with the incorporation of h264 high quality video streams on youtube and hulu... are you honestly going to sit there and tell me these pathetic devices will be able to handle it? it may be enough for an extremely limited user but it has no where else to go and any jump in software requirements would make them worse than obsolete... so i ask again... why are these things still being sold?
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2009 9:12 PM
    Quote:
    Pine Trail is the platform for the new Atom Pineview processor, which integrates the GPU with the CPU for a performance boost.


    I doubt the performance boost will be that significant. Intel already "gave hints" that it will perform slightly lower than the ION platform (we assume they mean in 3D performance), however what would most likely make it special is slightly increased graphics, for a way lower total TDP of the system.

    Pair the Pine Trail platform with a Pixel Qi screen, and we're talking about netbooks that might topple 10 or perhaps even 12 hours of battery life!

    There should be 2Watts saved on screen backlight, and another 5 watts for the bridge/memory controller which are on chip, and the graphics which is made on a smaller die. Another few watts will be saved on lighter electronics, meaning a smaller, or lower rotating fan; or perhaps even a passive cooling system (which I hope not for netbooks).
    Also a SSD could save upto 1 Watts on power, that's effectively reducing the power requirements of a system with 36%, or, results in 36% longer battery life (in case of the EeePc901 with a proclaimed '8 hours of battery life' that would result in almost 11 hours of battery life).

    Most likely manufacturers will save on equipping the first models with smaller capacity batteries, when paying extra for the newer platform and screens, in order to keep the cheapest 9-10" netbooks for under $400.

    So in the end you end up with a regular looking netbook, and standard battery life, only more expensive, but more 'green'.

    I presume the second wave of netbooks with this Pine Trail platform, will support larger capacity batteries (6Cell), and perhaps SSD's, and have phenomenal battery life (close to the 11 hours will be technically possible).

    As for performance, the CPU will still be an atom CPU. We'd be lucky if the bandwidth to the graphics card has increased a bit with the on chip crap-hics card!
    Most likely Intel will burn a GMA900 series to GMA500 series graphics core on the CPU chip. I doubt they will equip the Atom with anything better. But if so, I bet the X3100 has a better chance than the X3000 seeing that the GPU is clocked at a lower frequency (400 VS 667Mhz),and thus save better battery.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2009 9:27 PM
    Hanin33... i've seen myspace pages bring p4 class machines to a crawl and these are exactly the types of pages the 'masses' would be viewing... with the incorporation of h264 high quality video streams on youtube and hulu... are you honestly going to sit there and tell me these pathetic devices will be able to handle it? it may be enough for an extremely limited user but it has no where else to go and any jump in software requirements would make them worse than obsolete... so i ask again... why are these things still being sold?


    I can tell you that they work better than most P3 and P4 systems.
    You have to look deeper; the Atom has the ability to handle 2 threads at a time, it also has way lower TDP. The FSB and memory speed go as high as 667Mhz with the N280, while many P3's and some P4's are limited to 200Mhz DDR2 memory.
    The gaphics card is optimized for watching HD 720p video. You really don't need more on a 1024x600, 1280x720, or 1366x768 screen anyways.

    I can play a grand variety of games on them, including some that have been released less than 3 years ago (some sims).
    Youtube and video stream sites go well for regular or high quality video's. HD flash video's still is not 100% working fine, but anyone serious of watching HD video content, should not choose for flash based video. Instead they might want to select the lower quality youtube video's, as the high Def (720p) youtube video's are comparable to DVD quality XViDs.

    These 'things' are sold because lots of users see the value in them!
    They are good enough for basic tasks, a gift for your teenage son, or perhaps for a traveling business man wanting great battery life and portability for a budget price.

    These netbooks are very hackable, and are loved for that; and are good enough for most programming, basic compiling tasks, internet, MS Office, and emulator box (dosBox, PS2 emulator,..).
    And they look Damn Good!

  • 1 Hide
    sot010174 , August 3, 2009 10:12 PM
    ...and as I said before, an excellent network debug tool and good replacement for paper notebooks at college...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 3, 2009 11:44 PM
    Isn't pine-whatever just taking the same crappy Intel IGP and moving it to the CPUs packaging, for the sake of claiming to have beaten AMD to the punch?

    PS: Whatever happened to that oh-so-revolutionary Larrabee thing that was going to rip the computing world a new one? After a fiery start with that terascale hoax, they've slowly lowered expectations of performance until it just fell out of the news altogether...
  • 0 Hide
    ohim , August 4, 2009 8:40 AM
    pine w/e is more like a move from intel to make obsolete the nvidia Ion platform since the CPU will have the GPU inside.. eh intel doesn`t like competition at all.