Intel has officially started shipping its new dual core version of the Atom chip that is designed to provide a little more processing power to cheap and cheerful netbook manufacturers.
The new Atom 330 carries with it two 1.66Ghz processor cores, comes with a 533 Mhz FSB and also boasts of an 1MB L2 cache which is quite substantial by netbook standards
In addition it also has the capacity to support a higher speed 667MHz DDR2 memory which is likely to go a long way in reducing bottlenecks that are normally associated with multiple processor cores.
Incidentally the new chip will be pin compatible with the Atom 230 single core processor that is currently present on numerous netbooks; however a BIOS update would be mandatory for such motherboards.
The new chip is expected to improve the performance by around 50% as compared to the older Atom single core processor and it performance will also depend on whether hyper threading is enabled.
Also this improved performance will only see a marginal increase in power consumption as compared to the single core Atom processor.