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Print 31 comment(s) - last by SilthDraeth.. on Aug 26 at 10:05 AM

ASUS resorts to Celeron M CPUs in face of Atom shortages

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.



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wtf!
By voodooboy on 8/22/2008 12:54:46 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
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.


I hope they have a better excuse/reason than that! The VIA Nano U2300/2400/2500 ranging from 1 to 1.3Ghz, has a TDP in the same range as the 900Mhz Celeron M 353 (5-8W)and I'm sure as hell it'll !@#$ the Celeron.

Can't wait for HP to release a version of their Mininote with a Nano.




RE: wtf!
By silversound on 8/22/2008 1:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
Why atom? It sucks!
Isnt Nano better?

Maybe atom dual core is better


RE: wtf!
By benx009 on 8/22/2008 1:53:19 PM , Rating: 2
Nano is better imho... I don't understand why Asus is sticking to the overplayed card of "tradition" to justify themselves for not using Nano chips. I mean, how are rivalry chip manufacturers supposed to compete if notebook manufacturers like Asus aren't even going to buy their products? I mean, I'm a big fan of Intel, but don't you think that they're being given a bit too much power over the processor market??


RE: wtf!
By bohhad on 8/22/2008 2:07:10 PM , Rating: 5
because that's how intel works. either you use only intel chips, or the 'shortages' will mysteriously get worse. they should snap up the nano chips for these netbooks, but what what the hell do we, the consumer, know, anyway?


RE: wtf!
By Chadder007 on 8/22/2008 2:37:17 PM , Rating: 3
I'd bet that someone at Asus is pocketing some "perks" from Intel....Either that or they are afraid Intel will put a strangle hold on supply if they start using VIA chips.


RE: wtf!
By Samus on 8/23/2008 5:58:31 AM , Rating: 4
asus's business model has always revolved around 'under the table' negotiation. how else do you think a company with such crappy products is ironically the largest of its kind?

and by crappy, i mean gigabyte obviously makes higher quality more stable motherboards than asus has in 10 years. the last decent asus product was the p3b-f and thats because the BX was flawlessly flawless and nobody could get it wrong.


RE: wtf!
By BansheeX on 8/23/2008 8:42:14 PM , Rating: 2
ASUS would have to calculate if the payout they receive from Intel outweighs the lost profit to competitors using the supposedly superior and thus more desirable Nano product. So Intel could pay too much for an exclusivity contract, and the OEM could accept too little. It doesn't guarantee profit for either party, it can just as easily hurt them. This is one of the more difficult concepts for socialist court systems to understand.

You'd be much better off saving your strength for actual anti-consumer activity, like collusion with politicians to receive forcibly appropriated money from you solely on the basis of their funding said politician's re-election. Never had to convince you to give them your money with a superior product, they simply get it from government by bribing them. And the bribes are tricky conflict of interest, friend of a friend, untraceable gift type stuff. Internships for the politician's son, development near land that the politician's brother's friend own. Untraceable chain type stuff, happens all the time, all enabled by socialist enablements like subsidies and inflation.


RE: wtf!
By SilthDraeth on 8/26/2008 10:05:02 AM , Rating: 2
I won't go so far as to say you are wrong or right. In my opinion Gigabyte and MSI make better quality motherboards. But Asus does happen to make a lot more notebooks. And at least the notebook I got from them has been top quality and I got a mid range laptop.


RE: wtf!
By MonkeyPaw on 8/22/2008 3:25:15 PM , Rating: 4
Asus probably isn't using Nano because it's easier to interchange the Atom and Celeron M. To go to Via, Asus has to use a different chipset, design a new system board, and create new software packages and support them. Asus is only using Celeron M because of the Atom shortage--Celeron is not a long term solution. Maybe Asus should consider running a Nano-based Eee line, but really that's not what this article and issue is all about. Really, I think it's less about tradition and more about convenience and a quick fix.


RE: wtf!
By Samus on 8/23/2008 6:01:51 AM , Rating: 3
the pinout is quite different:

http://www.smallformfactors.com/products/search/in...

obviously asus is getting a kickback because the additional R&D to manufacture a completely different pcb layout im sure doesn't outweigh whatever intel will pay to keep the competition out of the water.

it's not intel's fault. i'd be scared of the nano if i were them too, just like i'd be scared of the athlon64 if all i had to compete with was a prescott.


RE: wtf!
By jeromekwok on 8/24/2008 1:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
Asus has to figure out how to run Nano and the chipset on Linux too.
So Celeron M is a better choice in terms of time to market.


RE: wtf!
By Samus on 8/24/2008 5:52:14 AM , Rating: 3
You'd think that, except the Nano is compatible with the Intel GM945 just like the Celeron M. Changing the pinout and manufacturing seperate PCB's between Atom/Celeron and Atom/Nano would cost an identical amount to engineer and produce.


RE: wtf!
By JackPack on 8/24/2008 9:04:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Changing the pinout and manufacturing seperate PCB's between Atom/Celeron and Atom/Nano would cost an identical amount to engineer and produce.


Get real.

1) VIA Nano uses their own V4 bus for signaling instead of Intel's AGTL+. It's neither bus- nor pin-compatible.
2) Eee 700/900 already use the Celeron M. The electrical and thermal characteristics are already well understood.


RE: wtf!
By meewok on 8/22/2008 1:16:20 PM , Rating: 5
When I first read this, I though the reason might possibly the same reason why Dell didn't use Athlon 64 chips for a long while (as per AMD's claims of preferred pricing)...

BUT as a counter to my own argument, there are already current existing laptops with AMD chips.

A more likely reason is that ASUS doesn't see the benefit of going through an entire design/engineer/test cycle with a whole new chip/platform and would rather ride out the shortage in the short term (especially with the dual core atoms coming out in a few months).


RE: wtf!
By superunknown98 on 8/22/2008 1:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
That maybe true and I see your point, I don't see why a celeron wold be their second choice. Granted they can probably just drop those into ee 701's and 900's, who would actually buy one? At the clock speed they run, they would be significantly slower than the Atom, use more power, and produce more heat. Why not just buy the Nano? They produce motherboards for AMD and Intel, why not another line of EEpc?

And while the dual core Atom might be faster than the Nano, my question is again why bother with the celeron? 3Q is just around the corner


RE: wtf!
By Oregonian2 on 8/22/2008 1:59:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't see why a celeron wold be their second choice.


Maybe because the Celeron M is the processor used in the original EEE units?


RE: wtf!
By Segerstein on 8/22/2008 3:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
There is a temporary shortage .

Why go with Celeron M for developing markets:
a) it's cheaper
b) it's available NOW
c) they just ramp out more 701s&900s as opposed to 901s and above.

Developing a VIA Nano platform and actually shipping parts would take longer than the actual temporary shortage of Atom chips.

It might be an option, using Via chips, but people are already bitching about the amount of EEE models coming from Taiwan. Plus, it's expensive to build another platform, that wouldn't increase the overall sales by much.

Guys, why don't you suggest your beloved Apple that uses exclusively Intel chips to also use AMD and VIA. Asus, on the other hand, actually ships parts with AMD, just not netbooks.


RE: wtf!
By superunknown98 on 8/22/2008 4:25:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Maybe because the Celeron M is the processor used in the original EEE units?


I do understand this, but you kind of ingnored all of the other points I made. The only advantage the Celeron has over the Atom and Nano is price and availability. Heat, battery life, and performance are all much worse for the Celeron.

quote:
There is a temporary shortage


This too is odd. Quarter 3 of this year is almost here, why buy old, hot, underperforming chips just becasue they are cheap, when in a month or so Atom's should be available?

quote:
Developing a VIA Nano platform and actually shipping parts would take longer than the actual temporary shortage of Atom chips.


That is true. The Nano is not a short term solution. However I don't see the Celeron as a solution either. If you were in the market for an Eee 901 or 1000 and supply ran dry, would you buy a 701? a 900? You could just go buy an MSI wind. Why wait for ASUS? As for cost saving with the Celeron, there are many other laptops designed just for developing nations that cost much less than an Eee 701.

I just don't buy that the Celeron was the next best answer without some pressure from Intel.


RE: wtf!
By lagomorpha on 8/22/2008 7:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
"This too is odd. Quarter 3 of this year is almost here, why buy old, hot, underperforming chips just becasue they are cheap, when in a month or so Atom's should be available?"

Old and underperforming yes, but the ultra low voltage Celeron M chips (based on same architecture as Core) aren't that much hotter and less powerful than Atom.


RE: wtf!
By Clauzii on 8/24/2008 12:11:45 PM , Rating: 2
And i'd guess Intel has PLENTY of stockpiled Celeron M's they want to get rid of.


RE: wtf!
By Oregonian2 on 8/25/2008 5:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I do understand this, but you kind of ingnored all of the other points I made. The only advantage the Celeron has over the Atom and Nano is price and availability. Heat, battery life, and performance are all much worse for the Celeron.


My point was that advantage you left out: "being in an existing design". It's an advantage to a company when they've an existing proven design (complete with testing done, parts inventoried, development already paid for, etc). It's probably the main advantage. And use of it can be temporary as well, there's not much lead time in using it because it's already done. For that matter the initial design was probably done because the Atom wasn't out yet (they would have known about it in that time frame).


RE: wtf!
By meewok on 8/22/2008 2:08:07 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if I necessarily agree with their strategy either, but my guess is that their product planning/product marketing people did some studies and determined this was the best course of action for them.

It's quite possible that they evaluated and are continuing to evaluate a nano scenario, but may not be able to pull it off in the short term at a reasonable cost.

In any case, I wouldn't be surprised to see nano-based eeepcs down the line, either.


RE: wtf!
By voodooboy on 8/22/2008 1:53:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
A more likely reason is that ASUS doesn't see the benefit of going through an entire design/engineer/test cycle with a whole new chip/platform


While I understand what you're saying, and it does infact make sense...what I personally find perplexing/amusing is that ASUS finds, selling 20 or more (guesstimate)different versions of what's basically the same machine, to make good business sense...but won't consider offering some genuinely different options to consumers by including a Nano-based netbook. Doing so would have ensured that they would continue selling EEE PC's (Nano based ones) even in face of the Atom-shortages, without having to resort to those crapastic Celeron M 353's...
Since Acer announced the price cuts on their Aspire One today, EEE's are defnitely not going to hang onto the top spot for long now.


RE: wtf!
By Calin on 8/24/2008 3:14:53 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure VIA could respond to an unexpected ramp in Nano processors - and as Intel is quoting "shortages", this means they probably overselled the Atoms.
While Intel could ramp up extra 5% of Celeron M, VIA would have troubles (probably) to supply the same number of Nano platforms (50% of its current production, maybe).


RE: wtf!
By superunknown98 on 8/22/2008 1:31:22 PM , Rating: 1
I too am waiting for the Hp mininote with the Nano cpu. While i'm sure the Atom provides adequate performance, why settle for less? The fact that ASUS will not use a VIA chip makes me think intel is strong arming vendors again. If Asus buys the nano, intel chips might become extra scarce or rise in price the next time Asus tries to buy them.


RE: wtf!
By foolsgambit11 on 8/22/2008 6:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
They may not want to use a VIA chip and chipset because historically, VIA hasn't been nearly as reliable as Intel. So trusting VIA's production in a long term partnership forces them to take on more risk - even if it's only perceived risk.


RE: wtf!
By Chadder007 on 8/22/2008 2:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
Same, id like the HP Mininote with a Nano also....but they still need to come down on the price a bit.


RE: wtf!
By heeros1 on 8/22/2008 11:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
I can't wait for the nano, period.

I've been eying via's embedded boards for a while now, but knowing there is already something better out that's just not used yet is frustrating.


RE: wtf!
By Calin on 8/24/2008 5:57:49 AM , Rating: 2
But Atom can not have mainboards with PCI Express slots, only PCI.
Right now, I think Atom and Nano platforms are close enough together - but a new low power chipset for Atom could change this.


RE: wtf!
By swizeus on 8/23/2008 7:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
Because ASUS traditionally being bribed to use Intel stuffs :)


RE: wtf!
By wordsworm on 8/24/2008 6:43:52 AM , Rating: 2
That wouldn't make sense at all in the political sense. ASUS sleeping with VIA would put a wedge into the ASUS/Intel relationship. Do you honestly think that Intel would sell more of its Atoms to ASUS if ASUS started selling the Nano rather than the Celeron?


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