Intel announced the first cell phones with Atom processors are expected in 2009 or early 2010. These will use a 32nm version of Atom and these chips will likely be very cheap to manufacture. FT reports Intel expects that a 300mm wafer will yield 2,400 to 2,500 32nm Atom chips, that's a 400-500 percent increase over the current technology!
Intel failed at mobile phone chips before, so why should this time be any different? I got a chance to put that question to Intel CFO Stacey Smith at last week’s developer forum in San Francisco.
He had two answers. One was that Intel won’t make its push into smartphones until next year, by which time its new 32 nanometer technology will be in full swing. This should push the Atom processor (which will be hitting its stride in netbooks in the second half of this year) deeper into the high-volume, low-price mobile market: each wafer will be able to produce 2,400-2,500 die, or 400-500 per cent more than the existing technology, according to Smith.