It was bound to happen sooner or later, but the Atom’s success may finally be waning after a long run of nonstop demand from netbook manufacturers. According to DigiTimes, the slowdown seems to be directly related to price-cut competition from low-end notebooks, as well as to the introduction of Intel’s new CULV processors, given that systems carrying these chips offer much better performance than Atom based machines without hurting portability or bumping the price too much.

We first saw evidence of this from Intel’s recent quarterly results, which showed a surprise decline in revenue from Atom processors and the chipsets that drive them – in part due to a normal sales slump for the time of year though. Another reason may be that netbook manufacturers are holding off for Nvidia’s Ion platform or waiting for Intel's next-generation solution; a system-on-chip codenamed “Lincroft” that integrates a 45nm Atom CPU with a graphics processor and memory controller. Until then, DigiTimes says Intel is trying to clear Atom inventory by prioritizing second-tier and China-based vendors.