Another Dual-Core Atom on Tap, Could It be for Netbooks?

Life is good for Intel, the No. 1 chip maker who recently announced the best first quarter it's ever had. But that isn't all the company had to say. During an earning conference call on Tuesday, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said another dual-core Atom processor is on the way.

"The next innovation coming to Atom is on dual-core," Otellini said.

Make of that what you will, but there's already speculation that this could be intended for netbooks. Intel has so far avoided designing a dual-core Atom chip for the hugely popular netbook market, instead reserving those parts for nettops and other low-powered desktops.

The timing would be right as well. With Apple's iPad making waves and other tablets to follow, it remains to be seen where netbooks will fit in. Netbooks aren't likely to go away, but we can picture tablets cutting into netbook sales, an area Intel has an obvious vested interest in promoting.

This is all speculation at this point, as Otellini didn't offer up any other details. However, he did say he expects there will be "significant growth in the netbook business year-over-year."
Tags:  Intel, Atom, dual-core