Intel Vows to Integrate 3G, 4G Tech into Mobile SoCs

Intel: We Have Communication Technologies In-House

by Anton Shilov
01/21/2012 | 05:47 AM

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.