Intel on Monday introduced its second dual-core Atom processor, and announced that more than a half dozen computer makers have signed on to ship netbooks with the latest low-power chip.

The 1.5 GHz N550 is built on the Pine Trail Atom platform, introduced last year, and is a higher-performing alternative to the single-core N450 used in many netbooks today. The N550 offers significantly more performance while consuming a similar amount of battery power as the N450, according to Intel.

The chipmaker first introduced the N550 in June, along with a new netbook reference design, codenamed Canoe Lake. The design makes it possible to build netbooks that are a half-inch thick, or about half as thick as those currently available.

Intel says eight computer makers plan to ship N550-based netbooks this year, with some launching models on Monday. The manufacturers include Acer, Asus, Fujitsu, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, MSI and Toshiba.

:story; Full story: InformationWeek