I remember physically sighing when Intel announced a dual-core Atom as the answer to video playback issues on the netbook. It’s not that way to do it at all which is why I’m very please to have confirmation that Cedar Trail, the latest netbook platform, will have hardware decoding support. The GMA3600 graphics core is based on PowerVR technology from Imagination and while I didn’t get full specs, (it’s said to be SGX 545 at 400Mhz) I did get visual confirmation.
In the video below you see up to 23Mbps of H.264 and 4.5Mbps of DTS-HD audio being decoded with a Cedar Trail CPU level of under 20%. It’s a Blu-Ray disk that’s being used as the source. The player is Cyberlink PowerDVD I think. For reference, the Menlow platform used the GMA500, the Oaktrail platform uses the GMA600. Medfield and Clover Trail graphics units are unknown to me at this point but I do know that Clover Trail is supposed to be more powerful than Medfield.
There are no hardware encoding capabilities in Cedar Trail.