Intel Shoots Down Rumors of Atom Z Demise

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • Shadow703793
    Kind of off topic, but what's the estimated price for Pine Trail?
  • Hanin33
    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...
  • nachowarrior
    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.
  • That's all people really need, fancy calculators.
  • Greg_77
    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.
  • Kaiser_25
    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.
  • bk420
    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.
  • nekatreven
    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...
  • Hanin33
    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?
  • 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.