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Intel weans netbook makers off Atom Z

Clearing the way for Pine Trail?

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Intel is to halt the supply of low energy Atom Z processors to netbook manufacturers before Christmas, according to the Taiwan rumour mill.

Industry sources say Intel has informed OEM customers that it will soon stop accepting any further orders for Atom Z series chips – unveiled in March 2008 - according to a report by Digitimes.

The chip giant is reportedly “getting close to completely digesting its inventory” of Atom Z, as it looks for ways to more clearly define the boundary between netbooks and mobile internet devices. Intel has a netbook-centric version of Atom in the works. Codenamed "Pine Trail", this is expected to ship in Q4, presumably in time for the Christmas sales rush. (You can read more in our analysis: Whizz for Atoms: inside Intel's next netbook generation.)

It remains to be seen how the Atom Z ban will affect the supply of machines reliant of the series, including the Eee T91 and Sony’s Vaio P.

However, Intel is said to have committed to honour existing orders placed by the likes of Acer, Asustek and MSI. ®

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