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Intel: laptop/desktop crossover coming sooner than expected

Small, Cheap Computers™ driving demand

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Intel will sell more mobile CPUs than desktop processors this year, the chip giant's CEO claimed this week.

"The crossover from the desktop to the notebook [is] happening essentially a year sooner than we first had thought," said Paul Otellini at Intel's earnings conference.

It's not that long ago that Intel and others were looking out to 2010 for the point at which more laptops are sold than desktops, a state towards which the computer market has been clearly heading for the best part of a decade.

More recently, Intel forecast the crossover point would come in 2009.

Otellini stressed Intel is ready to take advantage of the shift, pitching his company's line of Centrino-brand chippery for laptops and its newly launched Atom family for handheld internet access devices and Small, Cheap Computers™ like the Asus Eee PC.

Indeed, Intel CFO Stacy Smith highlighted SCCs as one of the drivers behind accelerated demand for laptops.

"We are going to start to see the impact of that in the second quarter," he said. "It does look to be driving some incremental unit growth beyond what I thought when I first set my forecast for the year."

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