Intel is expected to talk about its next-generation Atom processor on May 6th. This new Atom processor is the first redesign since the Atom originally launched in Netbooks five years ago.
Intel's redesigned 22nm Atom chip is expected to target a range of market segments, including low powered tablets up to smartphones and PCs. The new Atom chip uses a higher-performance design as well as a fast Intel graphics chip similar to the mainstream Core processors.
This new Atom processor is what Windows 8 has been needing all along. Windows 8 tablets will no doubt run faster and provide better multitasking functionality for Windows 8 apps. The current Atom processor struggles a bit when it comes to this.
The new Atom processor also means new competition for ARM chipset markers like Nvidia and Qualcomm, effectively spawning the Bay Trail processor for tablets and Merrifield processor for smartphones. We should learn more about this on May 6 when Intel launches the new chip.