Intel Looks to Tiny Atom Processor for Profits in the Face of Slowing PC Sales

From DailyTech: When Intel launched its tiny Atom processor, it intended for the small, low-cost CPU to find its way into many cheaper consumer electronic devices like the new class of netbooks, mobile phones, and Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). Intel's Atom has found its way into a number of small, lower-cost devices so far since its launch including the Asus Eee PC, MSI Wind, and Acer Aspire One.

Intel is looking to the low-cost Atom processor to help it grow its business and profits in the face of a slowing trend in the PC market. According to Intel Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith, the Atom CPU is doing very well. Reuters quotes Smith as saying in an interview, "Atom is off to a very, very rapid start, far exceeding our expectations when we started the year. It's the perfect recession product to have in the marketplace."

According to Intel, the Atom processor is well placed for the mobile market and emerging markets. The low-cost nature the processor makes it desirable as the CPU to be used in low-cost secondary computers or in low-cost systems aimed at children. Smith does maintain that Intel won't know the complete size of the market for the Atom processor for about six months. Smith also says that the Atom processor seems to be growing the market rather than cannibalizing existing PC sales.

The much lower price and lower performance of the Atom CPU compared to Intel's more common Core 2 processors has Intel saying that it is not worried that the Atom processor will cannibalize existing CPU sales, with the possible exception of low-end Celeron sales. However, Smith told Reuters that the Atom could cannibalize low-end Celeron sales and that he was all for that.

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