Intel's Atom CPU to rule the world of Ultra Cheap computing

Expect Intel's Atom to become the microprocessor manufacturer's most popular processor in 2008, simply because it will sell bucket loads of them this year to emerging countries and the third world.

Over at IDF in Shanghai, Intel's partners showed a few laptops which were running 1.6GHz Atom processors, all of them ready to be launched within a few weeks.

Some of them were carrying Windows XP and others Linux; none of them though sported Microsoft much maligned Windows Vista, simply because the OS requires too much computing power.

Most of these laptops will come with small 7-inch displays - to cut costs - capable of showing off 800x480 pixels.

Microstar, one of Asus main rivals, has shown off a sub-£200 laptop which not only undercuts the Asus EEE PC laptop but also comes with a slightly better configuration; 1.6GHz Atom processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB solid state disk and most importantly a 10-inch screen.

The Register and PC Pro have more coverage on the IDF.

The question as well is ... where's AMD? Intel's smaller rival has been particularly silent while Intel has been soaking all the public attention.

They have a whole family of embedded processors from the x86-compatible Geode to the Sempron but no design have yet been released.

Even smaller VIA is making more waves in the ultra cheap laptop market.