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Intel's Cedar Trail platform to bring price drop

Intel is looking to make a serious splash in the low-power CPU market with its next-generation Cedar Trail platform, undercutting its current-generation Atom chips by between 30 and 50 per cent according to leaked pricing information.

While Intel hasn't confirmed retail costs for the Cedar Trail chips yet, industry rumour mill DigiTimes claims to have received word from netbook manufacturers that a launch is due in September - and that it will be bringing a massive price drop along for the ride.

As with the company's existing Atom line-up, the new Cedar Trail CPUs will be made available for both low-power desktop and netbook use - with the possibility of an Android-based tablet not ruled out, with Intel working on an x86 port of Google's latest 'Honeycomb' release.

The dual-core Atom N2600 is rumoured to be costing OEMs $42 in units of 1,000, while the higher-spec Atom N2800 is said to cost $47 - between 30 to 50 per cent less than the equivalent Atom chips from Intel's current batch.

The mobile chips will also include lowered power consumption - again pointing to the real possibility of an x86 Android tablet - and even the option of a fanless cooling system for the Atom N2600, where logistics and design considerations allow.

Intel has not yet responded to our request for comment, but if the pricing proves true it could give the company a boost as it attempts to unseat British chip design giant ARM in the tablet and smartphone markets while simultaneously fending off the threat from AMD's Fusion line of low-power Accelerated Processing Units.