Could the Atom eat away Intel’s bottomline?
This Friday, Intel will be launching their newest mobile CPU in the Philippines — the Centrino 2. However, the Intel Atom usually takes center stage nowadays because of the heavy proliferation of cheap netbooks. Could the Atom be more of a headache rather than a blessing to Intel’s bottomline?
Well, let’s look at it this way. The existing Core 2 Duos for mobile will cost between $209 and $530 a pop. The Celeron M processors, between $86 to $134. (Prices quoted are for the standard 1,000 bulk orders in March 2008.)
Now, how much is the Intel Atom today? Round-about $29 (N230), $38 (N270) and $43 (upcoming N330 Dual Core). The Intel Atom is way cheaper than the mainstream Intel CPUs in the notebook category.
Granted, they may not be as fast and not as powerful than the mainstream mobile processors. Still, once people tried the ones that run on Intel Atom and realized that the experience is almost similar to using the bigger notebooks for the more common tasks of word processing, browsing and playing media files, they won’t look and spend for anything faster.
The current Intel Atom is already running at 1.66GHz. Three or 4 years ago, this CPU could have been on the top of the heap in terms of processing power for mobile computers.
A couple more years down the road and the cheaper Atom could be the most favored and sell-able CPU for the laptop, overshadowing the numbers of the Core 2 Duos. Intel would have to sell the 4 or 5 times more Atom CPUs just to achieve the same amount of revenues as they would have with the Core 2 Duos. Now, wouldn’t that be a headache?