We talked at length about this last night on Podcast 14 but following a rather misleading 2nd paragraph in this article on PCWorld today, I want to highlight some very important differences between the Intel Diamondville-based netbook platform and the Silverthorne-based MID platform to reduce the confusion that’s building.
The diagram on the left (click to enlarge) shows the two ‘Atom’ platforms as we understand them today. On the left you’ll see a CPU (aka Silverthorne) and GPU/controller chip optimised for size, connectivity, Internet, video playback and long battery life. On the right you’ll see a CPU (aka Diamondville) and chipset combination optimised for cost. This cost-optimised platform is the one that you are likely to find in netbooks like the planned G10, Wind and Atom-based Eee PC.
The new diamondville-based platform will be slightly better and might even turn in some interesting performance benchmarks but it’s not revolutionary and it’s got very little to do with the MID platform. The platform Processing power won’t increase significantly over the existing platform, even at 1.6Ghz. Graphics power won’t increase significantly over the existing platform. Power efficiency won’t increase significantly over the existing platform.