If it weren't for Intel
's Atom platform, who knows how popular the netbook category would have become. Atom processors and netbooks are pretty much synonymous with each other (not without a small handful of exceptions, of course), and because of that, Intel has been able to ship 100 million Atom chips to date.
The announcement from Intel comes as its Atom platform turns three years old. During that time, Atom processors have squeezed their way into just about every low power netbook and nettop that's hit the market, even as competition heats up from AMD, ARM, and Nvidia (which licenses ARM technology).
With tablets taking over, is this the end for Atom? Not hardly. While the netbook craze has settled down, it hasn't disappeared. Not only that, but Intel has been talking a big game about busting into the tablet and smartphone markets, a couple of sectors currently dominated by ARM. For these reasons, look for the Atom platform to evolve rather than become extinct.