Atom chips to be in tight supply until summer

— 9:23 AM on May 1, 2008

Intel may have launched its Atom low-cost, low-power processor a couple of months ago, but systems based on the chips may not become widely available until some time this summer. That's the gist of a report by DailyTech that cites statements from both Asus and Intel.

According to an Intel spokesman quoted by the site, Intel is seeing "better-than-anticipated" demand for Atom CPUs. The spokesman didn't quote any numbers, but in a separate interview, Asus CEO Jerry Shen chimed in by saying he doesn't believe Atom supply will catch up with demand until the third quarter of this year. In reference to his firm's popular Eee PC sub-notebook, Shen added, "Unlike our competitors, we use both Intel Atom processors and Intel Celeron M processors, so this will give us a stronger advantage in guaranteeing shipments."

Shen may have a point regarding the competition. So far, most of the "Eee killers" we've heard about from other companies—such as ECS, MSI, and potentially Acer and Dell—harness Atom processors. Meanwhile, Atom-based Eee PCs should roll out next month, but current models all feature Celeron M chips.

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