updated 09:00 am EDT, Tue April 29, 2008
Intel Atom Shortage?
Intel has encountered a supply shortage that will prevent it from fulfilling more than half of the orders for its Atom mobile processors in the next month, according to a report in the Taiwan newspaper Apply Daily. Less than 40 percent of the semiconductor firm's requests are purportedly being met and, as a result, are expected to delay or hurt the rollouts of micro notebooks from a number of new entrants to the field, including from Acer and Dell.
Though unnamed, Apple is believed by many to be readying handheld devices based on Atom, which bridges the gap between strictly mobile processors such as the ARM chip in the iPhone and standard notebook processors.
The shortage may prove to be a benefit to manufacturers such as ASUS and HP, both of which have decided to at least temporarily use non-Atom processors for their own micro notebooks. Current versions of the Eee PC 900 are known to use Celerons to let ASUS offer the system ahead of rivals, while the HP Mini-Note currently uses a Via processor to meet its power needs without waiting on the Intel chip. Both are ultimately expected to produce Atom-based versions in the future.