Intel's Atom processor no longer in short supply

The shortage of Intel's Atom processor appears to be over.

Evidence suggests that the shortage of low-cost Atom processors that system makers faced earlier this year is over.

The low-cost Atom processor is primarily used in low-cost laptops, called netbooks. The popularity of these devices initially exceeded Intel's expectations, resulting in a shortage of the chips for hardware makers eager to cash in on high netbook demand. In a bid to catch up with demand, Intel repeatedly increased its Atom output this year.

Acer, the world's third largest PC maker and a major netbook vendor, says it's no longer having any problem obtaining Atom microprocessors. The company estimates it will ship 6 million Aspire One netbooks this year, a heady target considering it started shipping the devices at the end of June.

As recently as August, the company was still struggling to produce enough Atom chips. In a conference call, Intel CFO Stacy Smith pinned the shortage on a lack of adequate testing capacity to meet demand for the chips.

Some netbook makers blamed the shortage for disrupting netbook shipments. Asustek Computer, which created the netbook market with its Eee PC, even turned to using an older Intel chip, the Celeron M 353, because of the Atom shortage.

By October signs emerged that the Atom shortage had eased. One of the first confirmations came from Jeff Clarke, senior vice president of Dell's Business Product Group, who said plenty of Atom chips are available for its recently announced Optiplex FX160 thin-client computer. "I won't have a supply issue," he said.

Analysts also picked up on the increased availability of Atom.

"With respect to the Atom processor, any supply shortages seen earlier in the year are now resolved, with plenty of available supply," wrote Craig Berger, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, an investment bank, in a report released last month.

The easing of the Atom shortage in October roughly meets Intel's stated goal of shipping Atom chips in high volume by September, and allays vendor fears that too few chips would be available for the year-end shopping season.

"We've always worked to meet customer demand and we've always been pleased with the strong reaction that Atom has been getting in the market," said Nick Jacobs, an Intel spokesman, noting the company has four plants producing 45-nanometer chips, including the Atom.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags processorsintelAtom

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sumner Lemon and Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?