AFTER desperately trying to reach a critical mass (market), chip manufacturer Intel – locked in a deadly world war with rival superpower AMD, which refuses to quit – has resorted to desperate tactics.

It’s dropped an Atom bomb, and there are expected to be many casualties. Probably the brand manager for the Centrino Atom will be one of the worst affected by the fallout.

Intel capitulated on this Centrino brand after just five months, opting instead to use just the Atom brand across this part of its product line.

“We’re simplifying our efforts around Atom,” said Nick Jacobs, a company spokesman in Singapore,

“It’s the single brand for Internet devices.”

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The chip package was designed for small, hand-held Mobile Internet Devices, or MIDs as Intel calls them. It comprised an Atom processor and a single-chip chipset, which was dubbed first Menlow then branded Centrino Atom.That market never got off the ground. Few products have come to market since this year’s Intel Developer Forum, when Intel launched Centrino Atom. If branding is all about clarity, then Atom was self defeating.

Nobody knew whether Centrino was the laptop brand, or Atom. Atom-based laptops/netbooks weren’t even allowed to use the Centrino Atom brand. They used a different version of the Atom processor and a traditional two-chip chipset.

Or something like that. I’m a bit confused myself.

Now Intel is going to make it simpler. MIDs will be branded with stickers that say Atom, instead of Centrino Atom.

Got that? Is that clear? Me neither. µ

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