Feeds

Could NatSemi SOCs threaten Celeron's existence?

When everything's on one chip, what price the Celeron

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Analysis Intel engineers, as we speak, are scrabbling desperately to come up with their own version of a system on a chip (the Timna), but it is likely that National Semiconductor's Geode SOC has a clear lead of a year on the competition. But that poses questions as to what Intel will do with its Celeron processors faced with the rise and rise of so-called Free PCs. For the whole of this year, Intel has relentlessly pursued a strategy of dropping prices on its Celeron family (essentially the same chip as a Pentium II), while bringing out speed enhancements. However, our information is that NatSemi is likely to price its Geode family at around $20-$30, according to the quantities bought. It does not take much imagination to foresee a spate of very inexpensive PC-compatible devices that cost less than the price of a high-end Celeron. Although NatSemi is claiming that it is not positioning the Geode in the PC marketplace, there is nothing to prevent large outfits like Acer using it as a way of achieving volume at the very low end. Indeed, Stan Shih, CEO of Acer, said at a keynote speech at last year's Computex that he wanted to proliferate such PC compatible devices at rock bottom prices throughout segments of the market so far untouched by consumer hands. NatSemi is positioning the Geode as a chip for set top boxes, Internet devices, Web PADs and the like. And, of course, this is precisely where Intel wants to be, too. Graham Jackson, a National European marketing director, agreed there was some overlap between information appliances the low end PC market. He said: "We had this concept of PC on a chip and it changed quite soon to become the information appliance on a chip, and we decided not to compete in the low cost PC market." However, he said, there was nothing to stop NatSemi customers using the Geode in such devices, particularly given the fact that it has analogue output. Given that, how long has the Celeron got to go before it's got to go, if you see what we mean? ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.