Sunday, July 27, 2008

Is Intel's Atom CPU Shortage Due To Apple?

A Commenter over at the wonderful all-things-ebook Teleread reminded me about the Atom CPU shortage that's begun to happen. Asus, no slouch in putting out netbooks to sell, recently offered two new non-Atom models in order to preserve their sales presence and keep the money flowing in.

Which brings me to this question: Is Apple the reason for this Atom shortage?

Think about it.

Intel would certainly give Apple priority treatment if Apple wanted it. Apple wouldn't even have to be hard-nosed about it. Intel would fall over itself to have that business.

Also, the Atom has not been embraced by the netbook crowd for reasons other than its battery life (an Asus EeePC 901 with a six-cell battery gets a good five hours!).

Even Intel has dissed its own chip in this famous quote:
“You’re dealing with something that most of us wouldn’t use.”

However, Intel has previously stated that it sees this chip in millions and millions of devices.

Is that going to happen when its target market lacks enthusiasm for it?

Getting into millions and millions of devices can happen when Microsoft's bloaty and crusty Windows XP is ditched and replaced by Apple's iPhone OS.

How well would something like that work out?

Following the break are a bunch of videos illustrating installation of the full desktop version of OS X on an Atom-powered MSI Wind (or clone) and what the performance is like. (These videos will not appear here at the Blogger backup blog due to many videos on a page clogging my PC! Switch over to the post at the WordPress blog.)

I'll have more to say after you've watched the videos.

MSI Wind Leo Install
Here is a complete installation on an MSI Wind Subnotebook of OSX 10.5.4 Leopard from first boot to desktop. This should show people just how simple it really is.

Update: This video is misleading. He is not installing OS X from an Apple-bought disc. This is a customized disc. Details here. Yeah, it fooled me too! Buy OS X legally in order to use that disc!!
-- go to the WordPress blog to see this video

Medion Akoya Mini E1210 running Mac OS X Leopard
...a short glimpse of my new Medion Akoya Mini E1210 running OS X 10.5.3 (demonstrating iTunes Streaming + Fullscreen Animations and Nezuis gameplay)...

-- go to the WordPress blog to see this video

MSI Wind: Mac OS X Demo
An overview of the functionality of the MSI Wind with 10.5.2 installed. It runs very well.

-- go to the WordPress blog to see this video

Now just how great is that?! Close to Insanely Great, I think.

Fully Insanely Great would be marrying iPhone OS to that 1.6GHz Atom! Look at how fast iPhone OS is on its current processor (said to be 620MHz). Imagine it on something over twice that speed! (iPhone code wizards feel free to chime in about whether or not that could play havoc with the speed of games!)

Intel has another version of this Atom chip (why they named them both Atom is just confusing -- but this is after all the PC world), to be used in what Intel has been touting as Mobile Internet Devices (MIDs). One of them is the Gigabyte M528 (aka Aigo).

Here's a video of that device running Windows XP SP3 (this is a hack which replaces the built-in Linux OS; not all of XP works due to missing drivers):

aigo MID Unboxing Part 3 - Windows XP SP3
-- go to the WordPress blog to see this video

Now imagine iPhone OS running on that! (I'm not saying that hardware would in any way look like my predicted iPod Air, however!)

What I don't know is whether the manufacturing of the Atom chip for MIDs would affect manufacturing of the Atom for netbooks like the MSI Wind. That's up for others to go dig up. I'm pointing to the most likely field where the body is buried. The techies can go man their shovels now!

Is Intel's Atom shortage due to giving Apple priority over all others? My own suspicion is Yes!

Paul's complete guide to installing OSX Leopard on your MSI Wind / Advent 4211

Previously here:

You’re All Wrong: It’s The iPod Air!
The Reasons Why eBooks Are Next For Apple
It’s NOT Lower Prices, You Eejits! It’s iPod Air!
And So The iPod Air Is Coming After All!
iPod Air: See You In September?
No iPod Air Next Week
The iPod Air Will Be Better …
What’s This? iPod Air Next Month?
Future iPods: Piper Jaffray’s Blind Spot
For The Record: Apple and eBooks
Is Apple’s Tablet The iPod Air?

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