Intel may finally get Atom into mobile phones

A press conference call slated for 11:30 am ET with Anand Chandrasekher, who heads Intel's Atom business unit, is expected to announce a deal with Nokia to get its chips into the Finnish manufacturer's phones.

Early reports of the deal came from Bloomberg News, which in turn cited a source "close to the matter" describing what to expect from the conference call, which was scheduled just yesterday.

It's not exactly Intel's first time at the rodeo. After all, they announced back in February that they'll be supplying 45 nm "Moorestown" generation Atom processors to LG's upcoming mobile Internet device -- not quite a phone, not quite a netbook, and not quite expected to market before sometime next year.

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If the deal is real, it would be a major success for Intel's mobile aspirations after years of failure, including the ignominious 2006 shutdown of the company's previous mobile chip effort by CEO Paul Otellini. That occurred during the massive round of layoffs that September. In February of this year, CFO Stacy Smith re-established the urgency of getting it right this time, stating that the chip manufacturer had to land a deal with one of the top five mobile manufacturers in order for Intel's effort to succeed.

Nokia, of course, has its own problems. Earnings results from the Finnish firm have been second only to Sony's for sheer ugliness as the recession has worn on. And a report in The Wall Street Journal this week indicates that a Nokia-Siemens partnership has been integral to the Iranian government's Internet surveillance of dissidents and protesters, with calls for a boycott of both firms already sweeping the Net.

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