Intel Unveils New Atom Platforms for Smartphones, Tablets

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-02-25 Print this article Print

Intel officials said the new Atom platform offers twice the performance and up to three times the graphics abilities of its “Medfield” predecessor, all in a low-power envelope.  They said that Asus, Lenovo and ZTE are among the first OEMs to offer smartphones and tablets based on Clover Trail+. Lenovo at the MWC was showing off the K900 smartphone running on the new Atom platform.

Later this year, Intel will start shipping Merrifield, a 22-nanometer Atom chip that will feature such technologies as Intel’s Tri-Gate 3D transistor architecture, designed to drive down power consumption. By contrast, Clover Trail+ is a 32-nm chip. Intel gave few other details about Merrifield.

Intel also is continuing its efforts in value phones for emerging markets. At CES, the company unveiled the Atom Z2420—formerly “Lexington”—which has been adopted by Acer for handsets in Thailand and Malaysia, Lava International in India, and Safaricom in Kenya. Etisalat Misr, a telecommunications company in Egypt, will roll out the Etisalat E-20 smartphone based on the Z2420 in April, while Acer at the MWC was set to announced an Android tablet powered by the Atom platform.

Asus at the show announced the FonePad, a 7-inch tablet running Android and powered by the Z2420.

Bay Trail will be Intel’s first quad-core Atom platform, and will double the performance of the company’s current tablet chips. Tablets based on Bay Trail will able to come in designs as thin as 8mm and will offer all-day battery life and weeks of standby, according to company officials. The tablet makers Intel is working with are Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, LG Electronics and Samsung, as well as ODMs like Compal, ECS, Pegatron, Quanta and Wistron.

Also in the first half of 2013, Intel will begin shipping its XMM 7160, a multimode-multiband LTE processor that will enable smartphones, tablets, Ultrabooks and other mobile devices to access a variety of networks, something that rivals like Qualcomm and Nvidia already offer. Intel currently sells a single-mode 4G LTE processor.

“The 7160 is a well-timed and highly competitive 4G LTE solution that we expect will meet the growing needs of the emerging global 4G market,” Intel’s Eul said. “With LTE connections projected to double over the next 12 months to more than 120 million connections, we believe our solution will give developers and service providers a single competitive offering while delivering to consumers the best global 4G experience.”


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