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After attempts to make it into mass smartphones that have lasted for ten years, Intel is finally inside several devices that are about to hit the market. While only time will tell whether the first breed of Intel Atom-based smartphones will be a success, Intel itself claims that it entered the market of mobile phones very seriously and for the win.

"Intel does not go into markets to be a small player. It is a billion-unit market, so there is a huge opportunity for us," said Stacy Smith, chief financial officer of Intel, in an interview with Bloomberg news-agency.

Starting from the Q2 2012 several companies, including Lava (which is already selling its devices), Orange and ZTE, in addition to Motorola Mobility and Lenovo, plan to release their x86 smartphones based on Intel Atom Z2460 platform in different parts of the world. The first three companies intend to use Intel's reference design and add their proprietary features to them in a bid to differentiate themselves from others, whereas Lenovo and Motorola/Google have their own developments based on Intel Atom system-on-chip with their own set of capabilities.

“As of a week ago, we had zero share. As of this week, it is zero-point-something, because the first phones are selling,” said Mr. Smith.

At present, Intel only sells application processors for smartphones, which means that its clients have to use third-party baseband processors to enable network connection. In the future, Intel will integrate its baseband capabilities into its system-on-chips for smartphones, which will not only allow it to target mainstream smartphones, but will put it directly against powerful ARM partners, such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia (which is supposed to release its WWAN-enabled Tegra in early 2013). Will Intel's chips be competitive? Only time will tell.

Intel smartphone reference design is based on Atom Z2460 system-on-chip (Atom core at 1.60GHz, PowerVR-based graphics core with OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL 2.1, OpenVG 1.1 support clocked at 400MHz with hardware accelerated high-definition 1080p video playback, 32-bit LPDDR2 memory controller and so on) supporting HSPA+ with the Intel XMM 6260 communication processor. The reference design smartphones have 4.03" screens, 8MP cameras and use Google Android 4.0 operating system.

Tags: Intel, Medfield, 32nm, Qualcomm, Nvidia, Texas Instruments, Atom, Motorola, Android, Lenovo

Discussion

Comments currently: 8
Discussion started: 04/28/12 03:33:40 AM
Latest comment: 05/09/12 02:02:41 PM
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1. 
atom still consumes to much power and also lower performance compared to the latest quad cores ARMs...
2 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 04/28/12 03:33:40 AM]
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Consumes too much? It is very competitive in battery consumption tests and with just one 1.6 GHz core manages to go head to head with dual and quad ARM chips. It might not be the best, but it's no slouch.

A dual-core 22nm atom is incoming in 2013. That'd be the real competition to 28nm A15s.
0 0 [Posted by: eddman  | Date: 04/28/12 05:47:43 AM]
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2. 
I'd feel better with AMD Fusion-based chip over a poor atom. But in any way, ARM is still a lot better because it has modern instruction sets, and isn't loaded with ancient code to make it compatible with dinosaur age software and reducing efficiency like x86 is.
0 0 [Posted by: mmstick  | Date: 04/29/12 05:05:31 AM]
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If it was, then AMD would be selling the Fusion all over the place. The dual core Atom has less power consumption than the Fusion and the Atom in the phones are drastically even lower.
0 0 [Posted by: zodiacfml  | Date: 04/30/12 10:48:50 PM]
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still idiots complaining about the ISA? actually x86 would be more efficient for smartphones because the binaries would be more compact, and certain instructions all more efficient cache move operations than you can with a simple RISC instruction set...

your arguement shouldnt be the "ancient code" assembly code is assembly code dummy... its a different ISA..

your arguement could be about the decode block would be more complex in x86, but this barely matters anymore and isnt a real hotspot in current intel architectures... and most x86 instructions do not go through a complex CISC decode anyway, mainly special instructions or ones for increased processing effeciency..
0 0 [Posted by: CUEngineer  | Date: 05/09/12 02:02:41 PM]
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3. 
Personally I would prefer that Intel succeeds, would be reflected in prices.I do not know how Intel stand with power consumption when compared with ARM.After Intel AMD comes into that market.
0 0 [Posted by: Blackcode  | Date: 05/01/12 09:56:05 PM]
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4. 
really power consumption of the processor doensn't matter that much even if it consumes double the power at full load but its performance is higher. idle power is important but those are probably not so different. but full load doesn't matter because the screen and wireless transmitter uses the most of the power not the processor .
0 0 [Posted by: massau  | Date: 05/05/12 01:51:40 PM]
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