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Intel announces new Atom processors for tablets and netbooks

Warwick Ashford

Computer chip maker Intel has announced plans for new versions of its low-power Atom processors for netbook computers and portable tablet devices.

The "Pine Trail" and "Oak Trail" Atom chips were announced at the Computex fair in Taipei, according to Reuters.

The chips are optimised for tablet and netbook computers and will cut average power consumption by up to 50%, with full HD-video playback, Intel said.

The first of the new Atom processors, the "Oak Trail" chips, will be available in 2011.

Intel, which is betting on the growth of netbook computers, expects at least 50 million Atom-based netbooks to be sold in the next two years to equal and possibly surpass sales for the past two years.

Research firm Gartner predicts netbook sales will grow at least 30% in 2010, but expects this growth to slow as tablet computing devices like Apple's iPad become more popular.

This year, producers of Atom-based netbooks will begin shipping the devices with a pre-installed client for connecting to Intel's planned online app store.

The Intel Atom app store is aimed at boosting the popularity of netbook computers based on the chip and is part of Intel's strategy to boost personal computing devices based on its technology.

The initiative is backed by Acer, Asus, Dell, Adobe and Microsoft.

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