Intel: Atom chips for all!
But not until the end of Q4...
Intel has pledged to wrestle supply and demand into alignment and ship enough Atom processors by the end of the year to meet its customers' needs.
Speaking during the company's quarterly pow-wow with financial analysts, CEO Paul Otellini admitted that Intel hadn't produced enough Atoms during the chip maker's third quarter.
“We did not meet [Atom] demand in Q3... even though we were up substantially from the second quarter," he confessed, adding: "We are up again substantially in the fourth quarter.
"Our expectation is that we will meet demand by the end of the year but not the early part of the quarter."
Intel's Atom business notched up revenues of $200m during Q3, but it's unclear how much of that is profit. Not much, we suspect, given how cheap the chips are. Here's how Otellini spun it: "If you look at it kind of relative to the low-end of our mainstream stack, it’s generating nice profit characteristics."
'Profit characteristics' are not necessarily profits.
Sure there's profit
Intel said that the Atom chips deliver gross margins comparable to other Intel microprocessors. That's about 60% gross margins. So Atom is adding incremental profits that are expanding as the ramp meets demand by Q1 2009.
Put it this way: I'd trade my retirement fund for Intel's Atom profits any day.
If Atoms are cheap ...
... why are small cheap computers so expensive?