Intel Looks to Push Smartphone Atoms, Will "Consider" Playing Fab for ARM Rivals
July 1, 2013 11:59 AM
comment(s) - last by
Intel is planning a dual prong strategy for smartphone dominance
Intel Corp.'s (
new CEO, Brian Krzanich
, may have his roots in
the company's manufacturing development
, but his focus today
lies like a laser beam
upon the mobile sector. After watching his company
fail to scoop up
a piece of the exploding mobile market (tablets and smartphones), he is determined that the next generation of Atom chips will be game changers.
I. Smartphone and Tablet is Now Top Priority at Intel
Atom, Intel's mobile chip family, is slotted to get its sixth major release -- the
22 nm, quad-core tablet-geared Atoms
) -- later this year for tablets, with a smartphone-aimed variant coming in the early winter 2014 months.
Mr. Krzanich, in
, says that for the first time
are as high a priority to Intel as central processing units (CPUs) for traditional personal computers (PCs). He states, "We see that Atom is now at the same importance [as PC chips], it's launching on the same leading edge technology, sometimes even coming before Core [Intel's line of PC chips]. We are in the process of looking at all of our roadmaps and evaluating the timing of some of those products. It's fair to say there are things we would like to accelerate."
Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO [Image Source: AP]
Intel reportedly has struggled a bit with die shrinks to smaller nodes, although it still enjoys a healthy lead over rivals. Originally it had planned to release 22 nm smartphone chips in 2013, but those plans appear to have been pushed back at lest two quarters. Likewise, the release of
, the world's first
14-nanometer PC CPU
been shifted from 2014 to 2015
II. Wearables and Smart TVs Also Targeted
The CEO also reveals himself to be an early adopter of Google Inc.'s (
, wearable computer. Intel is also eyeing the "smartwatch" trend -- which is off to an early start with the release of Sony Corp.'s (
, Inc. (
Comp., Ltd. (
reportedly viewing wearable form-factors, such as glasses and "smartwatches" as the next big thing, he reveals that he has ambitions to put Intel CPUs inside. In other words, this time around he's determined not to miss the next big market trend.
"Smart" watches, such as the Sony SmartWatch 2 are expected to be one of the next big things.
He comments, "I think you'll start to see [wearable] stuff with our silicon toward the end of the year and the beginning of next year. We're trying to get our silicon into some of them, create some ourselves, understand the usage and create an ecosystem."
Another emerging market that Intel is eager to participate in is the smart TV market. Much like the tablet, analysts believe that past efforts by Google, Apple, and others have fallen short of what this market segment could promise. They envision a booming future market. Intel has played an active role in this segment -- many of
the first Google TV products
carried Atom CPUs
Intel is currently working on both smart TV hardware and user interfaces, though its efforts remain far from a polished product. Mr. Krzanich believes much of the challenge ahead lies in wooing content providers. He explains, "We believe we have a great user interface and the compression-decompression technology is fantastic. But in the end, if we want to provide that service it comes down to content. We are not big content players."
"We're being cautious. We're experts in silicon, we're experts in mobility, in driving Moore's law. But we are not experts in the content industry and we're being careful," he repeats.
III. Intel Goes ARM ... Sort of
Perhaps most intriguingly, Mr. Kraznich confirmed in the interview what could be a second major front in Intel's efforts to conquer mobile -- acting as a contract fab partner for a larger rival chipmaker who used ARM Holdings Plc's (
) alternative architecture.
Mr. Krzanich states, "If there was a great customer that we had a great relationship with laptops and other mobile devices, and they said look, we'd really love you to build our ARM-based product, we'd consider it. It depends on how strategic they are."
Perhaps hinting at whom he might be talking about, he reveals that this month he's using a Samsung Galaxy IV smartphone. (He changes phones and laptops once a month to avoid favoritism and to keep up with form factor trends.)
A deal with Samsung would be interesting, given that Samsung already has its own major fab business, which is among the most advanced among ARM chipmakers. Samsung and Intel enjoy a growing relationship that started on the PC front, and since expanded when Samsung
gave Atom a place in one of its latest flagship tablets
. Samsung is currently the world's largest phonemaker, and the world's second largest tablet seller (behind only Apple).
Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 carries an Intel Atom SoC, in some versions
Other potential ARM chipmaking partners include NVIDIA Corp. (
) -- who makes the Tegra mobile SoC -- and Qualcomm, Inc. (
) -- who produces the Snapdragon SoC.
Yet another possibility would be a relationship between Intel and Apple on the ARM front. Apple is reportedly insistent on sticking with ARM-style chips, which it co-designs, in its tablets and smartphones. However,
The Wall Street Journal
and other sources have reported in recent months that Apple --
a top buyer of Intel's PC CPUs
-- may be interested in
a lucrative deal with Intel to make the world's most advanced ARM chips
from a process perspective. Such a deal could help Apple's ARM processors stand out from those found in a sea of Android competitors, who are currently outselling its products 4-to-1.
Intel is rumored to be in talks to make chips for Apple devices.
[Image Source: Press Photographers Assoc. of Ireland]
But whether its Apple, Samsung, or somebody else, Intel is playing its cards relatively close to its vest. Thus at this point the only thing that's sure is that it is open to a potentially lucrative and game-changing tie-up with a top ARM chipmaker -- whoever that might be.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: I say Nvidia then Apple
7/1/2013 12:52:19 PM
Nvidia would be a great target for Intel to buy if you ask me... Imagine a Tegra 4 on 22nm . It would seriously kick ass. That and with Intel's expertise, they would probably have a better time of it with less delays.
Then Intel could have both ARM and x86, whichever takes off benefits them.
RE: I say Nvidia then Apple
7/1/2013 10:22:24 PM
You just described AMD's worse nightmare.
RE: I say Nvidia then Apple
7/2/2013 8:11:21 AM
I'd rather imagine a 14nm Broadwell with a Maxwell iGPU and eDRAM. But it isn't going to happen, Intel is too infatuated with its internal GPU team.
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
Apple Looks to Trademark "iWatch" in Japan
July 1, 2013, 11:18 AM
Report: Google Working on Android Game Console, Smart Watch
June 28, 2013, 2:00 PM
Sony Announces 6.4" 2.2GHz Xperia Z Ultra Smartphone, SmartWatch 2
June 25, 2013, 8:37 AM
Quick Note: Samsung Prices Galaxy Tab 3 Series from $199, Available July 7
June 24, 2013, 10:07 AM
Report: Intel Delays 14 nm Broadwell, Schedules Haswell Refresh for 2014
June 17, 2013, 5:30 PM
UK Teachers Want Parents to Cut-Off Their Children's Internet, Tablet Use at Night
April 17, 2014, 3:40 PM
Quick Note: Chrome Remote Desktop App for Android Launches
April 17, 2014, 9:26 AM
Report: Apple Plans to Integrate Shazam Song Finding Functionality into Siri
April 17, 2014, 9:15 AM
Bring Your Own Battery: LG Isai FL Likely is G3, First U.S. Quad-HD Android
April 16, 2014, 7:38 PM
Project Moonshine: Google's Plan to Flatten Android App Icons Leaks
April 16, 2014, 1:46 PM
Apple, Microsoft, and Major U.S. Wireless Carriers Embrace Smartphone "Kill Switch"
April 16, 2014, 10:08 AM
Most Popular Articles
Cities to Carpoolers: Sharing Your Car is Illegal, We Will Seize Your Cars
April 4, 2014, 9:17 PM
A-10 Warthog May Live to Fight Another Day with Support from Lawmakers
April 14, 2014, 9:41 AM
EFF: NSA May Have Used IRC Botnets to Exploit Heartbleed for Last Two Years
April 14, 2014, 4:43 PM
Quick Note: Toyota Attempts to Erase “Boring” Image with ’15 Camry SE Hybrid
April 16, 2014, 11:36 AM
A Bug's Life: Female Cave Bugs Have Penises, Penetrate Males for Three Days
April 17, 2014, 7:20 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
Tesla vs. BMW: Who Has the Safer EV?
Feb 1, 2014, 2:56 PM
Justice Leaks Details of Next HTC One Two Flagship Phone
Dec 5, 2013, 4:04 PM
Global Cyber Espionage Concerns Reveal Growing Cyber Armies
Nov 29, 2013, 11:04 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information