Does even Intel have confidence in the Mobile Internet Device?

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Often seen as the token Brit in the upper-echelons of Intel Corp, Sean Maloney is charged with directing sales of Intel’s products. As such, it's delightfully refreshing – albeit a tad disconcerting – to hear that such a big new computing category from Intel was to receive very little marketing might at such a tender age.

The MID (Mobile Internet Device) category was to be handed over to the device manufacturers to make something of. A little healthy competition maybe, or could it be that Intel is more than a little concerned and certainly quite confused as to the exact market for its Atom CPU?

PC Plus

Sean Maloney

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From our point of view, it’s all moving very quickly and we’ve got a broad range of designs and very good demand [for the Atom CPUs]. Really good demand. In fact, demand is outstripping supply so we are in a ramp phase and playing catch up. At the moment it’s made at 300mm FABs – monster FABs. It’s a small die so as we ramp production, we’ll catch up. But for the next month and a half to two months, we’ll be short. We’ve got four 300mm FABs – we will meet demand; definitely!

PCP

SM

PCP

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Most of them look very different but as yet, you just don’t know what the magic formula is. Is it going to be a touch screen interface, or a slider, or detachable keyboard, or whatever – we’ll find out. The cell phone tends to polarise the market, but MIDs are a much more happenstance fashion kind of thing. I certainly don’t feel I’ve got the instincts to figure out what will be successful there. Whereas with Netbooks, it’s easier to figure out.

Interview conducted at Computex 2008, Taipei, by Ian Robson, Editor of PC Plus



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