Intel’s apparently putting the kibosh on orders for its super low-voltage Z-series Atom processors. The Z-series chips can be found mostly in UMPCs and MIDs but had also made their way into various netbooks like the 12-inch Dell Mini series and the Acer Aspire One 751h, to name a few, as they provided a nice loophole to the “no screens over 1024×600 resolution” rule.
“Intel is expected to completely stop the supply of Atom Z processors to the netbook market before the end of 2009 as it looks to clearly define the boundary between solutions targeting netbooks and those for MIDs. However, the company will still fulfill orders already placed by Acer, Asustek Computer and Micro-Star International (MSI), the sources noted.”
This makes sense, I suppose, as the Z-series (Silverthorne) has been around the longest and Intel’s announced that its upcoming Pine Trail platform will be available in Q4 of this year. That, and it’s apparently relaxed the screen resolution rules for Sony’s upcoming VAIO W netbook, which uses the ubiquitous N-series Atom CPU.
UPDATE: False alarm. See the below comment from an Intel PR rep, as well as this post by Reg Hardware.