Intel Outlines Plans for Lower Powered Smartphone Chips

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Intel has outlined its plans to develop new mobile device products across the company's growing portfolio of smartphone tablet and Ultrabook offerings.

The announcements included a new smartphone platform for emerging markets, details on a forthcoming 22nm quad-core SoC for tablets, and more personal and intuitive Ultrabook devices in innovative convertible designs were outlined by Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group, and Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel.

"The best of Intel is coming to a mobile device near you," said Skaugen. "We are set to deliver the biggest increase in battery efficiency in Intel's history with 4th generation Intel Core processors, while adding broad new human interfaces to computing devices through touch, voice, facial recognition, and gesture-based interactions. We're also significantly extending the performance and power savings in Atom processors as we accelerate our mobile offerings in an unprecedented fashion in 2013."

Intel Inside Smartphones

Building on the progress first detailed a year ago at CES, Intel unveiled a new low-power Atom processor-based platform (formerly "Lexington") and smartphone reference design, targeted at the lower priced end of the smartphone market segment. Customers announcing support for the platform include Acer, Lava International and Safaricom.

The new value offering includes many high-end features including the Intel Atom processor Z2420 with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology that can achieve speeds of 1.2 GHz, 1080p hardware-accelerated encode/decode, and support for up to two cameras delivering advanced imaging capabilities, including burst mode that allows people to capture seven pictures in less than a second in 5-megapixel quality. The platform also includes the Intel XMM 6265 HSPA+ modem that offers Dual Sim/Dual Standby capability.

Bell also highlighted the forthcoming Intel Atom Z2580 processor platform (formerly "Clover Trail+") targeted at performance and mainstream smartphones. The platform includes a dual core Atom processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, and also features a dual-core graphics engine. He said the new platform will deliver up to two times the performance benefits over Intel's current-generation solution (Intel Atom processor Z2460 platform), while also offering competitive power and battery life.

Tablet Roadmap Expanded with upcoming Quad-Core Intel Atom Processor

Bell  unveiled details about the company's next-generation 22nm Atom SoC, codenamed "Bay Trail," which is already booting and scheduled to be available for the end of this year. The first quad-core Atom SoC will be the most powerful Atom processor to date, delivering more than twice the computing performance of Intel's current generation tablet offering.

Low Power Fuels Ultrabook Innovation

Intel announced last September that it added a new line of processors to its forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family targeted at about 10 watt design power, while still delivering the excellent performance people want and need.

Skaugen announced at the press conference that the company is bringing the low-power line of processors into its existing 3rd generation Intel Core processor family. Available now, these chips will operate as low as 7 watts, allowing manufacturers greater flexibility in thinner, lighter convertible designs. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Ultrabook and a future Ultrabook detachable from Acer will be among the first to market this spring based on the new Intel processors and were demonstrated by Skaugen on stage.

The 4th generation Intel Core processor family enables true all-day battery life -- representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history. Skaugen disclosed that new systems are expected to deliver up to 9 hours of continuous battery life.

"The 4th generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind," Skaugen said. "We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls."

To demonstrate the impact of the 4th generation Intel Core processor family, Skaugen showed a new form factor Ultrabook detachable reference design (codenamed "North Cape") that converts into a 10mm tablet and can run on battery for up to 13 hours while docked.

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