If you thought Intel was going to rest on its laurels by simply stating that their Atom chipset solutions were performing better than their Cortex competitors, you would be wrong. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel has made its intention known that they will compete in the market for lower tier devices, providing Atom chipset solutions that are competitively priced but provide better performance.
The Atom x3 chipset is the one that will dip into the lower end of the market – with the chipset being able to provide either 3G (HSPA+ at most) or LTE connectivity. The processor speeds will range from dual-core 1.0Ghz to quad-core 1.4 Ghz – and will be supported by multi-core Mali GPU chips. But the clincher is this – that this affordable chipset will be able to provide Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and GLONASS – basically the whole package, for lower tier devices.
The Atom x5 and Atom x7 are purely quad-core solutions based on Intel’s Cherry Trail 14nm process. Both will carry the hugely better Intel Gen 8 graphics technology, and will incorporate 450Mbps LTE/VoLTE connectivity. These two chipsets will be compatible to Windows and Android devices, giving Intel the flexibility they need for the midrange market.
One thing will stand out here – and we think Intel is doing the wise choice of intentionally avoiding the top tier market. That space is dominated right now by Qualcomm and Exynos. But at the bottom tier, Intel will be in a fistfight with MediaTek and other competitors. If Intel’s chips give better performance, they might just give MediaTek a run for their own money.