Intel to Kill "Atom" Brand for Mobile SoCs

Intel's Atom "CloverTrail+" SoCs are intended to be competitive with the best of the best from ARMland, be it a quad-core Snapdragon, or a 4+1-core Tegra, and despite Intel's ability to manufacture them on its cutting-edge 22 nm process by the millions, their popularity is less than encouraging to Intel. Only a few niche products by lesser known brands (barring the Lenovo K900), use Intel's chip, some of them are even cheesily named "Geek." You can imagine how niche that sounds, and how deviant it must feel owning a phone that runs an Intel chip. It looks like Intel's problem is in the brand "Atom" itself.

Intel Atom was launched late last decade, as a line of low-power, low-performance processors by Intel, to support the fad of "netbooks," nettops, and entry-level mini-ITX motherboards that can just about run a POS PCs (that's point-of-sale, though we won't disagree with how you read that). The brand soon blanketed pretty much every sub-15W TDP processor Intel made, covering everything from chips running Intel's originally conceived applications; and micro-servers, and handhelds such as smartphones.

A DigiTimes report that cites upstream vendors in Taiwan, notes that the Atom brand has become near-synonymous with "cheap," and "low-performance," even though a slow PC processor can be a fast smartphone processor, if its power envelope and board footprint are tamed. The company has hence decided to stop using the brand "Atom," at least with its mobile SoCs. It could either use cryptic model numbering like AMD does, on its entry-level E-Series APUs; or use some of its more respectable brands such as Pentium or Celeron.