Feeds

Twin-track development plan for Intel's expansion into smartphones

Android-optimization is key to beating Apple

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Intel is planning a two-pronged attack on the smartphone and tablet markets, with dual Atom lines going down to 14 nanometers and Android providing the special sauce to spur sales.

Mobile and communications group VPs Mike Bell and Hermann Eul laid out Chipzilla's plans for slurping up market share in the sector. Intel has speeded up the process technology shift for this sector and its Atom chips will shift from 32nm today, then 22nm next year. 14nm hardware is scheduled for 2014.

Later this year Intel will release the Atom Z2580 chip, which promises 2x processing and graphics performance within a good power envelope for smartphones and tablets. The next stage will be the 22nm Merrifield chip, which Bell predicted would change the game for Intel in the smartphone market.

"This is a really big deal for us," he said. "It's not just a technology shrink to 22nm, it's a fundamental change. There's a brand new processor core, it has state of the art imaging and graphics and is a new part from the ground up."

Merrifield will ship next year in high-end smartphones and tablets, and will be augmented with some intellectual property gained through acquisition. Bell mentioned imaging patents that allow smartphones to take multiple high-resolution camera shots and power-saving gains that could give 14 days standby time.

But there's also plenty of money to be made in old rope. The 2G and basic handset market is still growing and could be the backbone of mobile telephony for the next ten years, Eul commented, and will be the entrance point for the billions of humans on the planet who currently lack a mobile phone.

To address the more basic market the Z2000 series of Atom processors, which operate at around 1GHz, will ship later this year and be aimed at the low-end handset market, along with 2G and 3G chipsets and HSPA+ connectivity.

In line with the announcement of the close partnership with Google revealed at last year's IDF, Intel is betting the farm on Android to give it leverage in the smartphone and tablet market. Any hopes in Redmond that the old Wintel alliance could be extended to smartphones look forlorn at best, although it's clear Intel is optimizing some tablets for Windows 8 use.

"Our phone efforts right now are concentrated on Android and we have thousands of engineers right now optimizing Android to be the best version on Intel architecture," Bell said. "This is a fundamental advantage that not many other people have." Eul said the same for Intel's tablet range.

Intel is ploughing a lot of time and money into this market, with Chipzilla CEO Paul Otellini promising a development cycle of twice its beloved Moore's Law. Part of that is due to rapid die shrinkage, but it seems clear that Intel has had enough of losing in the mobile market and is willing to put time and money into carving out its niche.

Both Eul and Bell are unusual, in that neither is an Intel man – both are relatively recent hires. Eul came over from the Infinion buy, so has iPhone experience. Bell is an ex-Apple VP and manager at Palm for many years. Maybe with Intel's lack of success in the field new blood was needed. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.