Atom, in a way, is coming back to embedded devices -- which it was originally designed for -- but an ill-advised mobile route has given the chip a bad name, McGregor said.
"They have to rebrand it. There's so much failure around it," McGregor said.
The Atom chips were at the forefront of the netbook explosion from 2007 to 2010, then were tweaked for tablets and smartphones. Atom smartphones never really took off, and in a desperate move, Intel in 2014 said it would ship 40 million tablet chips, then hit 46 million chips. But by the time Intel found its groove in tablets, that market started declining.
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