Acer and Asus spurn Oak Trail for tablets… is Atom dead?

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Old 15-Jan-2011
Acer and Asus spurn Oak Trail for tablets… is Atom dead?

I’ve loved netbooks as much as any Joe or Jane Gadget Blogger out there, but let’s face it: the netbook market is in the process of being killed off by tablets, and that means that the low-voltage, low-margin x86 chip that defines the netbook as a form — Intel’s Atom CPU — is becoming increasingly irrelevant.
Why? While the Atom CPU is speedy enough for a tablet, the success of a tablet is in software: namely, a multitouch operating system specifically designed with the tablet form factor in mind… and all of those run on ARM. Windows 7 just isn’t any good for tablets, which is helping kill off Atom. Even Microsoft seems to be conceding that Atom is a dead chip: their next version of Windows will run on ARM processors.
Now word comes from Digitimes that both Acer and Asus have rejected Intel’s latest efforts to push the new Oak Trail Atom processors for tablets. Instead, they’re going with NIDIA’s Tegra 2 SoC, which is not only cheaper than Oak Trail, but has better battery life and runs Android.
Sure, it’s not over yet, but we think we’re only a round away from Intel throwing in the towel on Atom. It was the champ once, but now, it’s just getting pounded.

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