Monday, September 28, 2009

Atom-powered devices to enter India in a big way

Intel Corp, the worlds top chipmaker, expects its Atom processor to power a host of devices in the Indian market, in addition to the no-frills netbook or the nettop. These could be a mix of mobile banking devices, mobile internet devices (MID), point-of-sales terminals to even outdoor display terminals. Intel confirmed that a multitude of vendors were developing a spate of new applications in India. Talking to the Economic Times, Intel Technology India director (Marketing-South Asia) Prakash Bagri said Atom has the potential to power products like MID, mobile banking devices, GPS monitoring devices, personal healthcare gadgets, point-of-sales terminals, and even outdoor display terminals. Atom fits well in the embedded space and devices which deliver internet-centric experience or needs to be powered by internet. A lot of such devices are under development and may hit India soon, Mr. Bagri said.

Elaborating, Mr. Bagri said at least 35 vendors are developing MIDs with Atom. MIDs have a huge potential in India, once there is availability of a robust mobile data network. This will be possible when 3G and WiMax services comes into full play, he said. Incidentally, the company has just globally unveiled the Atom processor CE4100, the newest system-on-chip in a family of media processors designed to bring internet content and services to digital TVs, DVD players and advanced set-top boxes. Intel has lately seen huge success with the Atom that created a completely new category of entry-level computers. Sales of netbooks and nettops are growing upwards of 100% quarter-on-quarter in India. Such performance was visible even during the slowdown when computer sales in India saw a degrowth, said Mr. Bagri.

Despite Atoms success, Intel has no plans to discontinue its previous entry-level Celeron processor. While Atom allows us to come up with newer kinds of form factors, Celeron has its own set of distinct users, both in the enterprise and consumer segment. Hence, there is a fair chance that both processors can co-exist in the market, said Mr. Bagri. He, however, admitted that India has always been a major market for the Pentium processor family. The same trend is now seen in the Core range of processors. In fact, a lot of Pentium consumers are now upgrading to the Core family, he said. Intel is also going to focus on rolling out newer processors based on its super-fast Nehalem microarchitecture . It plans to roll out several such processors in India over the next 4-5 quarters across the entire range of desktop, laptop and server. As part of this, it recently unveiled in India a series of such processors which will bring this microarchitecture to mainstream desktop and entry server markets.

Source: The Economic Times

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