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Intel Atom sales hit all time low

Atom processors of Intel have witnessed a heavy drop in their sales during the fourth quarter of 2011


Intel Corporation is facing greater demand for its advanced Core i-series Sandy Bridge microprocessors. But on the other side they are also witnessing rapid the dropping of demand towards its low-cost/ low-power Atom chips.

It has been reported that the Intel Atom sales has hit all time low in the fourth quarter of 2011. This also points to the fact that, the popularity of the Netbooks and the low cost PC’s powered by Intel. According to Intel’s financial report, Atoms micro-architecture revenue was $167 million, which was about 38% down from the third quarter and down by 57% from the fourth quarter of 2010.

Although they have started the shipment of the new Atom 2000-series Cedarview chip, the overall sales is suffering significantly. According to them, Atoms revenue is going down mostly because of the falling demand of the Netbooks, inexpensive small form-factors mobile computers.

This falling demand of these portable Netbooks might be mostly because of the growth in popularity of the tablets. This also has a large contribution of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platform as both of them provides a large number of applications which have proved to be very useful for the consumers.

However the major fall of sales of the Netbook in the fourth quarter might be mostly because of the price drop of the tablets.

It seems that Intel will continue to supply Atom chips to PC makers who are interested in making cheap systems. They also seem to be on track of making more powerful microprocessors which will be equipped with systems quite different from Netbooks. But now can say that the ultra low cost personal computer's idea is on the verge of failure, as they have failed to catalyze sales on both emerging and established markets.

However we can say that this is not an end for the Atom processors as it may jump back to new performance levels as Intel needs an ultra low power micro architecture to address very different markets. In the future they also have plans to release three major updates for the Atom family and they may definitely push them back in the business.



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Pallab Jyotee Hazarika, 2012-01-23 (Update: 2012-05-26)