Intel released a new generation of Atom processors based on 32nm transistors. The Atom D2500 and D2700 are intended for cheap mini- or all-in-one PCs. Atom processors with model numbers starting with N are used in netbooks, a product category that has been losing market share since the arrival of tablets. A logical use for Atom processors will of course be the upcoming Windows 8 x86 tablets.
Thus far the Atom processors have not impressed very much. The energy efficiency sacrificed too much performance, and compared to the ARM competitors they weren't even that efficient. AMD's Fusion counterpart with its powerful integrated GPU was more interesting for light-weight computers. Does the new generation Atoms change our perception? Hardware.Info examined the new top model Atom, the D2700.
Except for the transition to the 32nm production process little has changed in the architecture of the Atom processors compared to the previous generation. The CPU is still based on the good old Pentium CPU, which has a very basic architecture compared to current standards. This means that it is very energy efficient when combined with a state-of-the-art manufacturing process. The new D2500 and D2700 Atom processors have two cores, and the D2700 also supports HyperThreading.
The D2700 has a clock frequency of 2.13GHz. The L2-cache size (512kB per core) also hasn't changed compared to the previous generation. In other words, we don't expect much better performance from the CPU except perhaps better efficiency thanks to the 32nm transistors.
The most important innovation on the new Atoms is that Intel has integrated a new type of GPU. Intel calls it HD Graphics 3600, but it's actually a PowerVR SGX545. This quad-core GPU is suitable for DirectX 9. You can read the rest of CPU shoot-out: Intel Atom D2700 vs. AMD E-450 on Hardware.info.