At Mobile World Congress this week in Barcelona, Intel (INTC) expanded its portfolio of computing and communication assets for the smallest of devices to the most complex mobile networks. Intel President Renee James set the mobile vision in motion, detailing how its products are set to compete in today's mobile ecosystem and shape the next era of computing - the Internet of Things (IoT).
"The continued growth of the mobile ecosystem depends on solving tough computing challenges - unlocking data's potential while securely and reliably connecting billions of devices with leading edge computing and communications technologies," said James. "Today we are announcing leading communications products as well as new computing platforms. As a result, Intel is well-positioned to shape the future of mobile computing and the Internet of Things."
New Atom processors and LTE-Advanced Communications Platform
Formerly code named Merrifield, Intel introduced the 2.13 GHz Atom processor Z3480 for the Android smartphones and tablets market. Based on a 22 nanometer Silvermont microarchitecture, the 64-bit ready SoC delivers best-in-class compute performance for the mainstream and performance segments, and solidly outperforms the competition in compute-intensive application, web application and light media editing performance. It is the first Intel Atom SoC to feature the new Intel Integrated Sensor Solution, which efficiently manages sensor data to keep applications smart and contextually aware even when the device is in a low-power state. The new processor also features a PowerVR Series 6 Graphics IP core from Imagination Technologies and is designed for simple pairing with the Intel XMM 7160 LTE platform.
"Sixty-four bit computing is moving from the desktop to the mobile device," James said. "Intel knows 64-bit computing, and we're the only company currently shipping 64-bit processors supporting multiple operating systems today, and capable of supporting 64-bit Android when it is available."
Looking ahead to its next-generation 64-bit Intel Atom processor, code-named "Moorefield," Intel said it will add an enhanced GPU and two additional Intel architecture (IA) cores for up to 2.3GHz of compute performance. It is expected to be available in the second half of 2014. Moorefield is optimized for Intel's XMM 7260 LTE platform. Announced Monday, the new Intel XMM 7260 delivers competitive LTE-Advanced capabilities including carrier aggregation (supporting 23 CA combinations in a single chip), category 6 speeds and support for TDD LTE and TD-SCDMA, which expands the addressable market. Now certified to run on 70 percent of LTE networks worldwide, the 7160 is expanding to connect a range of products spanning smartphones, tablets, 2 in 1s, Ultrabook systems and more. Customers currently shipping or planning to launch devices featuring Intel's LTE platforms include Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and Samsung, among others.
"We are entering 2014 with a very competitive mobile portfolio spanning application processors and communications platforms that will only get stronger," said Hermann Eul, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, during the press conference. "Our new Atom processors for Android smartphones and tablets offer leading 64-bit performance and battery life, and the new 7260 platform gives the ecosystem a compelling LTE-Advanced experience."
Intel-Based Mobile Devices
Signaling the expanding availability of tablets and smartphones powered by Intel Atom processors and connected by Intel communications, James announced three new multiyear agreements with leading device manufacturers for Intel-based mobile devices. Intel announced plans with Lenovo for mobile devices, including incorporating Intel LTE connectivity into some Ultrabook and multimode designs. ASUS announced it will bring a full portfolio of Intel-based smartphones and tablets to market this year. At Mobile World Congress, ASUS unveiled the ASUS Fonepad 7 LTE (ME3762CL) featuring an Intel Atom processor and Intel LTE connectivity. Dell and Intel are expanding the long-standing collaboration between the two companies to include a range of innovative tablets that started with the introduction of the Dell Venue line in fall of last year. Intel-based products from Dell will span Android and Windows solutions.
Intel also announced expanded relationships with Alcatel-Lucent and Cisco to accelerate network function virtualization (NFV) and software defined network (SDN) technologies. Renee James also highlighted numerous Intel-based trials with global operators including China Mobile, SK Telecom and Telefonica that are demonstrating the benefits of NFV and SDN for enabling personalized and contextually aware services, improving asset utilization, and simplifying installations and upgrades.