Published in PC Hardware

Intel President talks up Atom

by on15 August 2013

Bringing it on a par with Core

Intel’s Q2 earnings call signalled the start of a strategic shift to small cores, namely Atom. Although Intel introduced Haswell in Q2, much of the emphasis was on Atom. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Intel President Renee James said Intel is now bringing Atoms on par with its Core products. 

"We are treating Atom and Core equally," said James. This was not the case just a few years ago. For much of its life Intel treated Atom as an unwanted bastard child, a small core with low ASPs and margins - and we all know Intel loved big and pricey chips.

"We’re building parts for Atom that come all of the way up to Core,” said James. “You can build a Windows tablet, you can build and Android tablet, you can run both.”

James also talked up Android, which will probably be the OS of choice for many future Atom products.

"We've increased our efforts on Android," said James. "We're upping everything on the developer side"

Asked to comment on possible Atom cannibalization, James shrugged off any fear that consumers might ditch big cores in favour of Atoms.

“We think lots of people want high performance machines,” she said.

James showed off a Sony Vaio hybrid based on Haswell and pointed out that it could replace older PCs and to some extent tablets.

“That’s not a one-for-one replacement,” she added. “We’ve created Atom products that scale all the way up and down and Haswell products can also scale down to fanless designs.”

James said there will be some amount of cannibalization, but with different price points and form factors Intel should have no trouble coming up with a new segmentation approach.

You can watch the interview here

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