Intel making Cheaper Chips for Emerging Markets?

[via Jeff Nolan] ArsTechnica speculates:

The word on the street is that Intel is developing a low-cost CPU for emerging markets in Asia, and potentially elsewhere. Surely pitted against AMD’s Sempron, Shelton is a test product aimed at Vietnam and two other unnamed countries countries if this VNExpress article (in Vietnamese) is to be believed.

Shelton’s lone attractiveness will have to be rock-bottom prices, because Shelton redefines bargain basementparticularly the “basement” part. Shelton is rumored to have absolutely no L2 cache, and will be based on older Celeron architecture, fabbed at 90nm, and meant to run at a mere 1 GHz.

At this point, we don’t have much to go on, but one thing is clear: this, coupled with today’s earlier news and recent trends in the tech biz show us that while company’s may be outsourcing to boost profits, they’re also catering to smaller economies with unimpressive tech to squeeze money from rocks. Whether or not the extra effort is worth it remains to be seen.

Jeff provides the context: “Interesting, because just yesterday Rajesh Jain came by my office and explained to me about how entire sections of the market in India see nonconsumption as the only alternative to buying an expensive (by local standards) PC. When it comes to CPU manufacturing costs, Intel/AMD have pretty much hit a plateau with regard to actual mfg costs, it’s pretty much an issue of what they are going to take out in order to reduce the cost and cache memory is an obvious choice. I also read somewhere else that M$oft is looking at ways to dramatically reduce the cost of Windows and Office in India and Southeast Asia in order to combat piracy, the primary competitive choice in software for those countries.”

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.