Spreadtrum to Base an Upcoming Chip on Intel’s Atom Architecture
Intel definitely made a mistake when it came to approaching the mobile chip market. The company refused to focus on things like power efficiency once smartphones started to gain traction and this led to a number of other companies stepping up and filling the void. Then when Intel changed their mind, it almost felt like it was too late since others like Qualcomm, Samsung and Huawei had already matured their mobile chip businesses.
We did see a few smartphones and tablets opt for an Intel x86 SoC, like the ASUS Zenfone 2, but it ultimately wasn’t enough for the desktop and server chip company to gain enough momentum. The lead mobile chip executive left the company in April of last year, then a month later we started seeing reports claim Intel spent over $10 billion trying to play catch up in the mobile space before eventually giving up. Many felt the Intel x86 chips were dead when it came to smartphones and tablets but that doesn’t seem to be the case now.
PCWorld has a report up that talks about partner companies keeping the chips’ architecture alive now that Intel is currently out of the game. The report specifically names Spreadtrum as the Chinese chip maker who is basing their SC9861G-IA chip on Intel’s Atom architecture named Airmont. The chip will be paired with the PowerVR GT7200 GPU and is said to support up to 1440p displays. However, it seems Spreadtrum will actually be using this chip in mid-range devices.
This deal between Intel and Spreadtrum started back in 2014, but it isn’t the only partnership that Intel currently has with chipmakers. Rockchip, the company responsible for the OP1 used in Samsung’s new Chromebook Plus, also has a partnership with Intel that could result in x86 mobile chips. The report also goes on to say that Intel may not be completely out of the mobile space themselves either. Aicha Evans, senior vice president and general manager of the Communication and Devices Group at Intel, says they’re open to making chips for any device that wants to connect to the internet, and that includes smartphones.Source: PCWorld