Intel Atom successfully cannibalises Celeron – report

Despite repeated denials by Intel over the last few years, it appears that its mighty Atom has successfully cannibalised its existing notebook business, if a report is to be believed.

Taiwanese wire Digitimes claims to have been told by its notebook customers that its long-in-the-tooth Celeron brand will be phased out next year, to be replaced by the dual core Atom N series and the Pentium.

The report says that Celerons will be “completely phased out” in 2011.

The Celeron brand has a long and hoary history. According to Intel’s own microprocessor history site, the first two Celerons were introduced in April 1998 using a .25 micron process and containing 7.5 million transistors.

The first two models clocked at 266MHz and 300MHz and didn’t have any cache at all, using a system bus of 66MHz. The brand went through many iterations – and eventually entered Intel’s notebook line up. Essentially, Celerons were cut down versions of the real thing, but allowed Intel to offer a range of SKUs (stock keeping units) and segment the market successfully.

According to Digitimes, Intel will launch a Celeron P4600 at $86 at the end of September, but its dual core Atom N550 will cost $86 too when you buy them at 1,000 processors a throw.

This means, if the report is correct, that the writing is on the wall for the brand.