Intel has had great success with its relatively new Atom processor. The small, low power processor is finding its way into lower cost netbook systems as well as embedded electronics and other devices.
Intel is hoping to bolster its profits on the back of the Atom in the face of slowing PC sales, where it typically makes the bulk of its profits with computer CPUs. Intel's Stacy Smith has stated that the Atom is off to a very rapid start and far exceeding Intel's expectations.
Intel's Atom has been a victim of its own popularity with supplies of the processor too low to meet demand. PC World reports that Intel expects the shortage of Atom processors to be resolved by Q3 2008. This is also roughly the same period when Intel expects to debut the new, higher performance dual-core Atom processor.
The shortage in Atom parts has caused ASUS to revert to using Intel Celeron processors in its lower-end Eee netbooks. PC World reports that an anonymous ASUS source said, "There's a serious shortage of Atom microprocessors. We're focusing our Atom supply on the Eee PC 901, 1000 and 1000H models."
ASUS will be using the Intel Celeron M 353 CPU in low-end Eee systems because it is available and is priced lower than the Atom parts. The Celeron processors are older tech, but the price for the parts makes them suited to Eee machines that will be sold in developing nations.
The same unidentified ASUS source told PC World that ASUS didn’t go with the similar Nano processor from VIA because ASUS is traditionally a user of Intel processors. An Intel spokesperson told PC World that Intel doesn’t commonly sell Celeron M processors for netbooks, but the parts are available for use.
Intel's CEO blames Atom processor shortages on issues in the supply chain and the significant demand for the Atom processors in both netbooks and other consumer electronic devices.