Intel has no plans to revise the roadmap for its Atom processor family, despite a surge of interest in systems based on the processor and the release of a competing chip from rival Via Technologies.
"We're very comfortable with the competitive position of the product, and we're very comfortable with it from a power-performance point of view" said Sean Maloney, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group.
The next version of the Atom will likely be part of Moorestown, which is due sometime next year and comprises two chips: a system-on-chip called Lincroft and a chipset called Langwell. Using the same 45-nanometre processor core found in the current line of Atom chips, Lincroft adds other components, such as the memory controller, on the same piece of silicon.
The Atom processor will face competition from Via Technologies' older C7 processor as well as a newer chip called Nano. Formerly called Isaiah, Nano is a more powerful chip that is likely to outperform Atom, although independent comparisons of the chips have yet to be made available.
If Intel needs a boost in performance, the company instead plans to draw on chips from other product lines. "Remember, we've still got Celeron," Maloney said.
Before the release of Atom, Intel had positioned a low-end Celeron-M processor as its chip most suitable for low-cost laptops, like Asus's Eee PC )see our Eee PC 900 review) and Intel's own Classmate PC (see our Intel Classmate PC review).