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Atom processor demand cooling?

updated 11:05 am EDT, Tue April 28, 2009

Atom Demand Cooling

Demand from PC makers for Intel's Atom processor has started cooling in what may be a shift away from netbooks, industry sources said Monday. Instead of focusing its attention on supplying larger companies like ASUS or Dell, Intel is now believed by DigiTimes to be focusing on smaller builders, particularly those in mainland China, and using them to clear out supplies. The higher-end companies themselves are also turning away from the ultra-mobile chip as a whole.

Anticipation for products based on the second generation of Atom reportedly plays a part in the decrease. However, the shortfall is now being assigned to pressure from very low-cost but standard notebooks, many of which are only slightly more expensive than a typical 10-inch netbook but considerably faster. The wider launch of Intel's Consumer Ultra Low Voltage (CULV) chips in the summer will also play a part as many companies will then have ultraportable systems much faster than netbooks but with a relatively modest premium: Dell's upcoming Inspiron Mini 11 may cost as little as $499 despite having 2GB of memory and a 250GB hard disk.

Intel hasn't commented on the assertions.

If supported in practice, the move would signal a backlash from PC vendors that had previously been quick to jump on Atom. The processor and its near-permanent association with netbooks has helped prop up PC sales during the poor economy but has also severely hurt profit margins for those companies that normally don't depend on the category, including Intel itself. Apple has also gone so far as to attack netbook quality rather than join the market, describing many designs as too small and cheaply built to be worth the investment.

by MacNN Staff



  1. dagamer34

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Honestly, Atom chips aren't that great as a netbook if they can't handle YouTube or Hulu that well. Maybe that's more the fault of Adobe, but even with an ION chip in there, I don't find Atom worth while.

    I'd rather get an underclocked Core 2 Duo that can handle a few tasks I throw at it. I'm not asking for blazing fast Photoshop performance here, but I can't put down my money for an Atom nettop right now. Maybe when Atom gets an upgrade in Q3 '09, I'll consider the chip again

  1. Constable Odo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why don't they just sell

    the Atom chip-powered computers to third-world countries. They need that kind of low-powered stuff. Let America and Europe stick with the beefy Core 2 Duo's.

    I don't want a wimpy Atom-powered netbook. I'm staying with my MacBook Pro-class notebook and that's about as low as I'm going. I'd like to have longer battery life, but I'm willing to compromise for having a more powerful notebook with slightly better power-saving abilities.

  1. ricardogf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Netbooks are dead

    Netbooks are the main reason behind the financial failure of crappy PC makers...although they can brag about sheer unit numbers, this amounts to nothing in terms of revenues...Apple was right all along, and will only enter that stupid market if it's to change it altogether, as it did with the iPhone.

    As for the stupid comment by Odo, the "third world countries" you refer to probably have more money to spend than bankrupt U.S. you guys should get the cheapo stuff too, because your artificial tax rebates and greenbacks are gonna be worth nothing pretty soon.

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