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BARCELONA, Spain — Intel is making a strong play for mid-tier and entry-level phones, phablets, and tablets with its new Atom x5 and x7 Cherry Trail processors and its new Sofia system on a chip.
The chip giant announced the new products at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will be participating in a keynote discussion here on Wednesday.
Cherry Trail chips
The Cherry Trail processors represent a doubling of graphics processing speed over past mobile processors, Intel says, and are easier on battery.
The new chips, which Intel says will become available in the first half of 2015, were created on Intel’s 14-nanometer fabrication process foundry. This represents the cutting edge in silicon fabrication for mobile chips, as the 14-nanometer process allows for unprecedented number of transistors packed into a time wafer.
This makes a huge difference, especially when device makers are focusing on minimizing the thickness and overall size of new devices.
Intel believes that much of the opportunity in the mobile business will come from people in emerging markets like China and India who buy lower-priced phones, and may be buying their first smartphone.
That’s why the company has been focusing on selling its chips into mid-level devices like those made by Acer, Asus, and Lenovo.
In an effort to give manufacturers of mid-level and entry-level mobile devices an efficient, turnkey solution, Intel has developed its Sofia system on a chip (SOC).
The SOC is making its official debut here in Barcelona.
Sofia features an Atom x3 processor and a baseband wireless modem on the same platform. The modem comes in an LTE version, as will as 3G for less developed markets.
Asus, Jolla, and more than 20 original design manufacturers have already committed to building devices around the new platform, Intel said.
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