Intel CFO Stacy Smith said in an interview that the Atom processor is far exceeding Intel's expectations when they started the year - the chip is off to a very, very rapid start.
Atom is designed to go into low-cost gizmos that Intel calls Mobile Internet Devices and Netbook computers as well as other devices that may appeal to consumers tightening their belts in the face of a slackening economy.
"It plays very well in the mobile marketplace; it plays in emerging markets; it plays into people's desire to have a second PC, or one for the kids that's low-cost yet still capable," Smith said of Atom. "It's off to the races."
That said, the market for Atom is still nascent, and it's unclear just how large the segments Atom is targeted at will become. Intel faces slowing growth in its mainstay PC business and needs to find new areas of sales growth.
"We'll know kind of in six months how much of this demand (for Atom) is real and how much is customers thinking they're going to win in the market place and double-ordering," Smith added. "It seems to be growing the market rather than cannibalizing existing PC sales."