Intel just announced a new Atom N550 processor with dual-core and hyper-threading (4HT) that might just bring sexy back to netbooks.
While this is not the first dual-core Atom processor by Intel (Atom N330 was used in an Asus Eee PC 1201N netbook), it could be the one that will be widely used on upcoming netbooks.
The two cores run at a much lower clock-rate at 1.5GHz but over-all TDP is lower at just 8.5W. The Atom D510 (for nettops) is 13W and while the Atom N330 is only 8W, it does not include the power consumption by the graphics (the N550 already includes GMA 3150). The single core Atom N450 is rated at 5.5W.
Expect next generation netbooks to sport the Atom N550 with support for DDR3 RAM soon. That means more processing power with the same long battery life (like the Acer Aspire One D255, Asus Eee PC 1015N). Should be interesting to compare to AMD’s Athlon Neo II K325.