Desktop Atom chips to start at just $29?

Intel will price some of its upcoming Atom processors very aggressively in order to secure market share in the low-end desktop market, if a report by DigiTimes is accurate. The Taiwan-based website says it has learned from anonymous informants at motherboard manufacturers that Intel's Diamondville-based Atom 230 processor will cost only $29 in thousand-unit quantities when it comes out next quarter.

Intel officially announced the Atom brand for its code-name Silverthorne and Diamondville processors earlier this month. All Atom chips are based on the same new architecture, but Silverthorne parts will be aimed at handheld devices, while Diamondville models are expected to slip into low-end desktops and notebooks. DigiTimes says Asus will adopt the Atom 230 chip in its forthcoming Eee PC-branded E-DT desktop. As we reported earlier today, the E-DT is scheduled to launch at $199 in the May-June time frame. Asus intends to put Atom processors in forthcoming 8.9" Eee PC notebooks due in May, too.

Incidentally, DigiTimes said last week that Intel plans to price the Diamondville-based Atom N270 processor at $44. Unlike the 230, the Atom N270 will be aimed at notebooks. In fact, the chip will reportedly be part of Intel's "Basic Mobile Platform."

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