Are Sofia and Broxton just the first casualties in an Intel Atom cull?

intel apollo lake cpus pentium celeron launched intelhq
Shutterstock
Intel seems to be killing off its low-cost Atom chip family, the processors used in a host of smartphones, tablets, and other small form factor devices. The strategy is likely intended to allow the manufacturer to concentrate its interests on other, more lucrative areas of its output.

The Atom chips code-named Sofia and Broxton are to be cancelled with immediate effect, according to a report from PC World. Sofia processors had already begun shipping, while delays had forced the Broxton chip to miss its scheduled 2016 launch date.

The culling of the Atom line is the first major element of Intel’s plan to reshuffle after the company announced an 11-percent cut to its work force, as reported by CNN. Shifting focus to products that offer a better return on investment is a smart choice, but it’s perhaps at the cost of groundwork laid in previous years.

Intel bet big on its smartphone and tablet interests, investing billions into Atom, but ultimately the company couldn’t compete with rival ARM. There have been calls for Intel to discontinue the Atom line before today, owing to the poor performance that the processor delivered in order to achieve its budget-friendly price tag.

It’s likely that the company will now attempt to push its Core M processors in place of Atom chips. Those parts offer up more power and better performance, but that would in turn be reflected in their pricing.

The resources freed up by Intel’s termination of the Sofia and Broxton chips will likely help bolster the company’s efforts to get in on the ground floor with 5G components. 5G networks are expected to become the norm over the next few years, which could be a huge boon for a company able to supply the necessary chips and modems.

Mobile

MediaTek and Huawei’s partnership may mean cheap 5G phones in early 2020

Huawei has reportedly made a deal with MediaTek to use its new 5G SoC in a low-cost 5G smartphone expected to launch in early 2020. MediaTek launched the 5G SoC in May, and indicated the first phones to use it would come next year.
Mobile

What is 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Computing

Intel Lakefield: Everything we know so far

The Intel Lakefield chip design is one of Intel's most intriguing developments in years. It combines high-performance cores with energy efficient ones for a mobile processor design that can do it all.
Computing

The best processors for gaming

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.
Computing

The best Chromebook deals available in August 2019

Whether you want a compact laptop to enjoy some entertainment on the go, or you need a no-nonsense machine for school or work, we've smoked out the best cheap Chromebook deals -- from full-sized laptops to 2-in-1 convertibles -- that won't…
Deals

The 2018 Apple iPad Pro Wi-Fi tablet gets a huge $124 discount on Amazon

If you have been holding off on buying the Apple iPad Pro because of its price, now is the time. The best tablet for 2019 gets a $124 discount on Amazon today. This deal is more affordable than the one we previously found.
Computing

AMD Ryzen and Nvidia GTX join forces in HP Pavilion laptops and desktops

The HP Pavilion range has two new entries that are perfect for anyone looking for their first dedicated gaming system but don't have a fortune to spend. You even get AMD and Nvidia hardware in the same system.
Computing

Stuck in ELO hell? HP’s A.I. coach wants to help Omen owners become better gamers

HP has an exciting new update for its Omen Command Center software: A.I. coaching driven by machine learning. It uses the power of A.I. and analytics to figure out where you can best improve in your favorite game.
Computing

Visually stunning HP Omen X 27 HDR TN display closes color gap with IPS monitors

The HP Omen X 27 could prove to be the sweet spot for gamers everywhere. At a 1440p resolution, it's blazingly fast, with a 240Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response time. Better yet, its HDR support really helps colors pop.
Computing

Windows Core OS: Everything you need to know

Known as Windows Core OS, a new version of Windows will be a single universal operating system for all kinds of devices. It's expected to look very different, and here's what we know.
Computing

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for August 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.
Computing

The best web browsers for 2019

Choosing a web browser for surfing the web can be tough with all the great options available. Here we pit the latest versions of Chrome, Opera, Firefox, Edge, and Vivaldi against one another to find the best browsers for most users.
Computing

Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser has entered beta. Here’s how to get it

Microsoft's Chromium-based Edge browser has been downloaded over 1 million times. In this guide, we'll explain how you can download and install the browser on your PC or Mac in just a few quick and simple steps.
Computing

Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 vs. ThinkPad X1 Yoga

The Dell Latitude 7400 2-in-1 and the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga Gen 4 are both well-built and equipped business 2-in-1s. Which is better comes down to their displays and battery life advantages.