Well Intel’s little money making baby the Atom processor turned one this week. At IDF [Intel Developers Forum] in Beijing it was all smiles and Cigars, ok there were no cigars that I know of but there were certainly smiles.
When Intel kicked off Atom many thought the new CPU would not find a home, at least not a profitable one. Atom was designed to be small and not as powerful as the traditional mobile CPU. However, Atom quickly found a home in the netbook market where it took off like a rocket.
Despite other competitors Atom has pretty much become the defacto CPU for netbooks. It seems everyone wants a piece of Atom, so much so that Intel has moved forward with higher speed bins, lower powered versions and even dual core versions for more powerful nettops and other small form factor devices.
The popularity of Atom was even helped by the economic issues that sprang to life at the end of 2008. With the struggling economy may have turned to netbooks as a lower priced computer. [see our series on the netbook and its place in the market] But Atom will not rest as the CPU of choice for the “net” system. Intel has announced that Atom will soon find a home in in-vehicle entertainment systems.
But one of the best announcements was Moorestown; this is a SoC [System on Chip] design code named “Lincroft” that has an on processor graphics core, memory controller and of course a 45nm CPU Core. The second half of Moorestown will be an I/O [input/output] hub code named “Langwell”. Moorestown should be ready for the real world by 2010.
We should also see HyperThreading come to the Atom soon as it reaches speeds of over 2GHz and power consumption of three watts.
In all the future looks bright for the Atom and as the netbook, nettop and MID [mobile internet device] market continues to grow and evolve it might become one of Intel’s primary money making products.