According to reports, Intel has decided that there will be no more Centrino Atom chipsets.
Fear not, mobile Internet device loving gadget fans, for this does not mean the same thing as there being no more of the chipsets that are helping to power the ultra-low-cost mobile PC market.
All it means is that they will not be powered by Centrino Atom as everyone pretty much expected, but rather the chipset will be branded as simply Intel Atom from now on.
It is something of a surprise, it has to be said, coming just a few months after the chipset was actually launched. Not least given that Centrino as a brand is so well associated with mobile, power saving, devices. Intel seems to be saying that this is just a matter of product range simplification, but one has to wonder if there is more to it than that.
Perhaps it has something to do with Atom powered hardware, the so-called Mobile Internet Devices or MIDs, not exactly flying out of the window since March. Netbooks have just not been the big seller that Intel and others assumed they would be.
Intel say no, instead pushing the line that MIDs could not use Centrino Atom if they had a different Atom processor and a two-chip chipset, it had to be an Atom processor and a single chip or nothing. By removing the Centrino branding it removes the market confusion and, one assumes, removes the stumbling block to sales in the short term.
IT Pro says that Intel would "not be drawn on the lack of devices brought to market that feature its Atom processors since its launch, but it’s thought this was another factor in the re-branding decision."
Let's see if branding MIDs as 'Atom' powered will drive sales. To be honest, I remain to be convinced that it will make any difference...