Intel on Track to Expand Addressable Markets for Atom Processors

Intel’s “Ambidextrous” Strategy with Atom Starting to Pay Off

by Anton Shilov
12/14/2012 | 11:20 AM

Intel Corp. is on track with the gradual expansion of addressable markets for its system-on-chip solutions based on Atom low-power core. As the micro-architecture is evolving and the company is developing additional building blocks, revenues that Intel gets from selling Atom-powered solutions may get significantly higher, according to a financial analyst.


When Intel unveiled its first Atom processors in 2008, the company officially positioned the new chips for netbooks, nettops and smartphones. But already in 2009 the company proposed select third-parties to make custom Atom-based system-on-chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. in order to popularize the technology. While that effort did not turn into a success, the recent developments show that Intel is on track with its Atom system-on-chip strategy.

“This latest introduction of Intel’s Atom server chip is another step in the build-out of Intel’s strategy for Atom. Although Intel initially targeted netbooks as the main market for Atom, the company’s long-term strategy was always to add different types of circuitry to the Atom processor core to develop different types of system-on-chip (SoC) products for various markets,” wrote David Wong, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, in a note to clients.

Starting from 2011 – 2012, Intel Atom-based solutions address ultra low-cost PCs (netbooks and n), embedded applications, consumer electronics, tablets, smartphones, micro-servers and storage solutions.

In late 2013 the world’s largest chipmaker intends to unveil the first Atom system-on-chips powered by Silvermont micro-architecture and made using 22nm SoC process technology. Typical code-named Valleyview SoC for netbooks, notebooks and desktops will also be able to address more demanding applications thanks to rich feature-set and I/O options. With further customization, Atom-powered SoCs will address even broader market segments.