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Second netbook wave begins

Feb 03, 2009, 13:32 (0 Talkback[s])

"With the "Pineview" N280, Intel is apparently set to integrate northbridge functionality onto the CPU itself, though it has said little officially. Last month, we found a document on the chipmaker's website that confirmed the N280's name, clock speed, and use of the GN40 companion chip, but revealed little else. Now, that document has been taken down, leaving Asus and other netbook manufacturers as the only source of information leaks.

"On its own, the N280's miniscule clock speed increase compared to the N270 will do little to cheer those who were hoping for faster netbook performance. However, both Asus and Digitimes claim the N280 will ramp DDR2 memory speed up to 667MHz, compared to the N270's 533MHz. Additionally, some northbridge processing, such as graphics, could benefit from the move to smaller process technology. The effective "front-side bus" speed between CPU and northbridge components should also increase significantly, because on-chip interconnects are typically much faster than off-. However, highly integrated designs sometimes use the main CPU for on-chip peripheral processing functions, resulting in a performance wash or even a slow-down."

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