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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags intelprocessorsAtom

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

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?