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Intel Corp. is on track to integrate wireless wide area network (WWAN) functionality into its system-on chip devices aimed at smartphones and tablets, something that would revolutionize its positions. The company declined to say when exactly such chips will become available.

"Over time, what we will want to do is grow [Infineon wireless technology] capability up by integrating the apps processor and the communication processors onto the same chip, while we drive our initial positions in apps processors from the top down," said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

Mr. Otellini did not say a word when the company plans to proceed with the integration, but he made it clear that eventually Infineon modems will land onto the company's system-on-chip solutions.

Since mainstream cell phones as well as inexpensive smartphones use highly-integrated SoCs with built-in applications processing cores, memory and display controllers as well as modems, integration of communication technologies into Intel mobile chips will open the doors for popular and widely available devices.

Interestingly, but Nvidia Corp., which entered the market of smartphone SoCs relatively recently, also announced plans to build-in modems into its application processors over time. The company also did not mention timeframes when it plans to roll-out appropriate chips.

Since both Intel and Nvidia position their Atom- and Tegra-branded system-on-chip products for expensive high-end smartphones and tablets now, the companies are likely to address the markets of mainstream or entry-level mobile devices when they require high-performance and rich feature-sets, e.g., a year or two from now.

Tags: Intel, Infineon, 3G, 4G, Atom, Medfield, Nvidia, Tegra

Discussion

Comments currently: 5
Discussion started: 01/21/12 10:17:09 AM
Latest comment: 01/23/12 02:06:00 PM
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1. 
will they have intel WiMax or LTE?
BTW intel seems to have everything in-house including working 14nm chips (why don't they skip 22nm then), communication technology, etc
0 0 [Posted by: madooo12  | Date: 01/21/12 10:17:09 AM]
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While Intel may have some working chippery in the 14nm range, it isn't full out CPUs. Most likely SDRAM which they amost always make first. Then they go into the more complicated processors.

But the truth is they probably don't have all the factories retooled to make 14nm processors yet. Most are 22nm now and they are just starting ramp of that node. Then they will start Haswell, which will be a different architecture but same 22nm node. Then they will shrink Haswell into 14nm. So they need plenty of time to retool fabs, etc.

Edit: Oh and to answer your question, Intel will put in whatever the carriers want or need. Most likely LTE radios integrated since that is where everyone is going.
0 0 [Posted by: iLLz  | Date: 01/21/12 12:06:44 PM]
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2. 
Eventually the low end smartphone will only have one single chip like how the digital calculator evolved.
0 0 [Posted by: Tukee44  | Date: 01/21/12 12:19:30 PM]
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- collapse thread

 
They basically already do. Aside from some memory chips and other miscellaneous odds and ends, the whole system is already on one chip.
0 0 [Posted by: MonkRX  | Date: 01/22/12 02:37:20 AM]
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Hence the name: System on Chip :D
0 0 [Posted by: daneren2005  | Date: 01/23/12 02:06:00 PM]
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