Intel has published a slide of a diagram showing their future netbook processor and chipset plans. It’s very interesting to see how the intel Atom CPU lineup will go. The new Intel Atom N280 1.66GHz CPU can be used with the original 945GSE chipset, or paired with the new GN40 chipset as an “enhanced media netbook”.
The Atom N280 seems a whole lot more interesting with the GN40 chipset, as it features hardware HD decoding and more powerful graphics thanks to it’s GMA 4000 graphics core. As seen in the slide, one trade off here with the GN40 chipset is the higher 16.5w power usage, as opposed to 8w with the 945GSE, which will drain the netbook’s battery quicker.
The slide also shows the upcoming Intel Pineview / Tigerpoint (Pine Trail-M) next generation, but this does not stretch into the “enhanced media netbook” section. It has a lower 7w power usage.
I would assume that the N280 + GN40 Chipset will be powerful enough to decode Full HD / 1080p media, and hope some netbooks include a HDMI output, which would lead to a great media unit for HDTV connection.