Intel N400-series Technical Docs Now Available.

Posted on 26 December 2009, Last updated on 19 November 2012 by

The N450 is the new Intel Atom-based chip that will be used for ‘Pineview’ netbooks in 2010. Many of you have heard about the new ‘leaked’ netbooks over the last few weeks and although it’s focused at netbooks, we think there is some scope for some relatively powerful ultra mobile PC designs using the N400-series silicon. To that end, we’ve been following the news closely.

The N450 integrates the GPU and CPU on the same die and there have been some questions over the capabilities, especially in the area of video decoding. The technical documents that are now available make it clear. There is no H.264 or WMV decoding on board and no support for digital monitor outputs. MPEG2 decoding is supported (useful for DVB and DVD standards) but that’s about it for video. So its certainly not a GMA500 core. It’s Intel technology through and through.

N400gpu

One thing we can clearly state now is that you won’t be watching HD-quality Flash videos on a standard netbook. Even when Flash 10.1 is released, there’s simply no decoding hardware for it to use. This leaves a big gap for Nvidia and Broadcom although if Intel get their act together with Moblin, the higher-clockrate Z200 Z500 series CPUs might be an option for video-focused netbooks.

For all the technical details, check out the N400-series PDF here.

17 Comments For This Post

  1. UMPCPortal says:

    New article: Intel N400-series Technical Docs Now Available. http://bit.ly/81JJXb

  2. Mobile Ninja says:

    Intel N400-series Technical Docs Now Available. http://bit.ly/6jrwj4
    #mobile

  3. Bugsy Bowe says:

    Intel N400-series Technical Docs Now Available. http://bit.ly/6jrwj4

  4. Plaxtor says:

    wow, they really crippled external monitor support. i wonder if it was necessary for power consumption reasons or if they dont want people using it as a primary machine & docking at home.

  5. animatio says:

    after “Intels Netbook Marketing-Chef Anil Nanduri said – ion in netbooks is overkill …..” nothing to add to this. for me intel definitely has become an anarchistic / anachronist company. working against the market will not help for long, but strongly backfire sooner or later. consumers are ot such foolish.

  6. anon says:

    Ugh, what hardware DO they (Intel) have on offer that has a low power draw and can support video decoding and external monitors? Why would they want to kill Pineview for video applications if not to segment the market and push a (hitherto non-existent) solution instead?

    Ion works if you need lots of graphics performance, but H.264 decoding and digital video out are not high-end features; those are *requirements* for basic tasks of today and basic connectivity! That HD-capable (720p) resolution support doesn’t help much if there’s little in the way of using it – at least as far as video is concerned.

  7. Brazley says:

    i’m guessing the N410 & N510 will still support high resolution monitors, since they will come in Nettops & all-in-1 PC’s

  8. comment says:

    Are Z200 CPUs something new?

  9. Chippy says:

    Sorry. That should have been Z500.
    Corrected.

  10. Hyd says:

    GMA3100 is a graphic core of the new n400 series . Performance is not better that gma950 and lacks ofcourse h264 decoding capabilities . Maybe gma500 suck in video games and 3d graphics but the dxva feature is really a good thing.

  11. Hyd says:

    Just waiting for some low-power ION for future UMPC’s :] .

  12. Chance Stevens says:

    This is exactly why Nvidia is coming out with ION 2 to work with these new Pine Trail processors. People are going to want to pay the premium in order to play HD online video and if Intel is going to let the market share go to someone else, people are going to pay attention.

  13. DavidC1 says:

    Ok, I understand what you are saying and its relevant to LAPTOPS, but in Netbooks where the screen isn’t big enough to do 720P, or high enough quality to matter, not enough will care. Nvidia will probably carve a niche for people who absolutely want Atom Netbooks that cost near what the laptops will cost, but it’ll be fairly small in proportion to the whole market.

    If you want some portable device which appeal because of its ridiculously cheap pricing, the extra $50 or so will discourage a lot of buyers. Originally, the Netbook wasn’t meant to be, but their initial goals of making really cheap platform for OLPC-type of computers turned out to be popular with the general public.

    The profit margin is low in Netbooks for them to really bother anyway. If they had what they want, the MID/UMPC market should have been flourishing.

  14. 720p says:

    If only they used the GMA 500 so we could get H.264 video acceleration. I hate having to transcode my HD videos so that my netbook could play it. It’s nice to just transfer videos to my netbook and play them on the go. It’s also nice to play them on a TV from the netbook. So ION or any piece of hardware that offers video acceleration is relevant to NETBOOKS and pretty much any mobile device that people plan on watching any kind of video on.

  15. doe says:

    I see too many of these unimaginative or not smart people always asking why do you want your netbook to play HD videos or netbooks don’t need to play HD videos.

  16. ToeCutter says:

    Same here. What most of these “You-don’t-need-HD-on-a-netbook” types miss is that anything above 480i (640/720 x 480) is considered HD!

    If you’re gonna watch a YouTube flick at full screen resolution (very likely, considering most netbooks have 10 inch displays), you’re going to be above the HD resolution “watermark”.

    Considering that GMA500 decoded h.264 perfectly fine, the Atom N400, with it’s fancy die-integrated, but sissy-weak GPU benefits only Intel, as the it keeps manufacturing costs down and profits up.

    I don’t have an issue with Intel making a buck, but their chips are used almost exclusively in this space. They’ve been making it very hard for other vendors to provide solutions that we consumers want with their licensing/bundling practices that have already piqued the interest of both American and European fair trade watchdogs.

    How long do we have to put up with crap graphics on low-end PCs? It seems like each time a solution appears, Intel releases yet another junk GPU to package with their cheap CPUs.

    Anyone who calls this progress is insane. It’s just more of the same from Intel.

  17. sid says:

    When is AMD/ATI gonna wake up?

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