Report: Atom to be 62% Cheap PC Sales by Q4 '09
As much as we love the Intel Atom processor, the thought of it powering a significant portion of desktops is one that goes against our instincts of bigger, stronger, faster.
When it comes to computers, the trend is always headed straight towards making things faster and power capable. But now the low-cost, low-power (in both senses of the word) Intel Atom processor could end up in more than half of entry-level desktop sales at the end of the year.
Normally a segment reserved for Celerons and Pentiums, Intel could be adjusting its entry-level CPU shipment plans of single-core Atom 230 and dual-core Atom 330 CPUs increasing from 4 percent and 6 percent, respectively, in the first quarter, to 10 percent and 52 percent by the fourth quarter of 2009, according to Digitimes’ "industry sources" in Taiwan.
Furthermore, the report says that the Celeron E1000-series and the Celeron 200-series processors will drop to less than a fifth of the shipment makeup by the fourth quarter this year.
While the proliferation of Atom-powered machines on the desktop will likely bring down the average computational power of budget-oriented PCs sold this year, falling with it will be prices. Given the current economic climate and increased consumer price sensitivity, OEMs see the Atom as a simple solution for low-cost offerings.
For many casual computer users, the Atom is perfectly adequate for web browsing, emailing, even watching online videos. But without additional acceleration (such as the Nvidia Ion), the Atom isn’t able to decode high-definition video, possibly reducing the usable lifespan of nettops and cheap desktops shipped later this year.