Intel announces 2GHz Atom microprocessor

The new chip is aimed at mobile Internet devices and comes a year after Intel first launched Atom

Intel celebrated the one-year anniversary of its popular Atom family of microprocessors on Wednesday by announcing a new 2GHz version of the chip.

Intel senior vice president Anand Chandrasekher announced the new chip at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Beijing on Wednesday, as he pulled a small computer out of his pocket.

"Today we're announcing two new products in the Atom family. The Z550, this is the first 2GHz processor that will fit in your pocket...," he said.

The Z550 is aimed at mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and works with up to 2GB of DDR2 DRAM.

The second new new Z-series Atom chip is the Z515, which can run at up to 1.2GHz speeds when needed and is also aimed at the MID market.

Both chips are made to be as power-efficient as possible to keep small battery powered devices running longer.

The two microprocessors incorporate Intel Hyperthreading technology, which enables them to more efficiently run multiple programs on a device at once and enables richer graphics.

The two new Z-series chips are already available for companies to develop products around. Pricing information was not disclosed.

Intel's first Atom microprocessor launched last April at IDF Shanghai.

The microprocessor family has won fame for the product they're most used in today, netbooks, or mini-laptops. The MID product segment has so far not been as successful as the netbook market.

(Additional reporting by Owen Fletcher in Beijing)

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