SoC

Intel's new mobile chip to boast up to 8 processor cores

Intel needs to make waves in mobile computing. That's exactly what the first overhaul of the Atom chip design intends to do.

The new Silvermont Atom micro-architecture -- the first major architectural change since Atom debuted in 2008 -- delivers a "significant reduction in power [consumption] and a significant increase in performance," Dadi Perlmutter, an Intel executive vice president, said in a conference call Monday.

Perlmutter was quick to point out that the two -- performance and power efficiency -- are not incompatible. A slide (below) showed Silvermont Atom performing at twice the level of the previous … Read more

Apple probably won't tap Intel until 2015: Piper Jaffray

Don't hold your breath for Intel chips inside Apple iPads or iPhones.

Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard doesn't see it happening until 2015.

"We believe Apple could add roughly $5B-$6B/yr in revenue for Intel but is unlikely to be a foundry customer this year or next," said Richard, who follows Intel closely, in a research note today.

Five to six billion dollars in added revenue is nothing to sniff at in light of all the smartphone and tablet chip business now going to Intel rivals like Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung.

But he added that … Read more

Slim chance of Apple-Intel chip deal anytime soon, analysts say

Intel merrily building processors for Apple's iPhone and iPad is a nice thought. So, hold on to that thought for at least a couple of years.

Until then, Samsung's in the way. That chipmaking giant has a factory in Austin, Texas, for building iPhone and iPad processors -- now and well into the future.

And Samsung seems to be doing a pretty good job. Courtroom wrangling alone won't necessarily drive an immediate wedge between the two companies if Samsung delivers the goods, which it has done pretty consistently.

Then there's the other big obstacle to an Intel deal: … Read more

Intel plans big splash for Mobile World Congress

Intel will be on hand later this month at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona with some smartphone technologies in hand.

The company yesterday announced that at its booth at Mobile World Congress it'll show off "a new dual core, dual graphics platform." Intel also plans to have Android-based handsets on display that will be running its Atom Z2420 platform -- a low-powered, low-cost chip for smartphones designed for emerging markets.

Intel has been left behind in the mobile processor market. ARM, which develops chip architecture that's produced by a wide array of companies, has taken … Read more

Intel discusses shift to system-on-a-chip tech

Intel today disclosed technology that it hopes will get more of its silicon inside smartphones and tablets.

At the International Electron Devices Meeting, Intel laid out its next-generation 22-nanometer "SoC" system-on-a-chip technology. An SoC puts most of a device's core functions onto one piece of silicon and is typically used in mobile devices where space and power efficiency are paramount.

"In the past...we were focused primarily on developing transistors with ever higher performance," Mark Bohr, an Intel senior fellow, said to journalists in a teleconference. "Now we're developing technologies with a much … Read more

Intel quad-core 'ValleyView' system-on-a-chip coming

Intel's system-on-a-chip design for small devices is slated to go quad core.

Leaked Intel documents dated August 15 have appeared on a Chinese-language Web site that indicate Intel's next-generation system-on-a-chip (SoC) will be offered in configurations that include quad-core, a first for Intel's Atom chip design, according to a report at CPU World.

At the risk of wading too deeply into a codename quagmire, the Atom 22-nanometer architecture is dubbed "Silvermont" and the SoCs are referred to as "ValleyView."

The chips will also get punched-up graphics. ValleyView SoCs will integrate a graphics processing … Read more

HP, Acer, Lenovo eye Windows 8 tablets

Hewlett-Packard, Acer, and Lenovo, among others, are expected to bring out Windows 8 tablets using Intel's latest system-on-a-chip.

HP and Acer are working on designs, a source familiar with the vendors' plans told CNET. In addition, details leaked today about a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2, which will also use Intel's Clover Trail system-on-a-chip (SoC).

These Intel-based Windows 8 designs are distinctly different from Windows RT tablets that will use ARM chips. Windows RT devices use a version of Windows 8 that does not offer backward-compatibility with the millions of existing Windows software programs. Intel-based systems offer that compatibility. … Read more

The $399 iPad 2 boasts better battery life, says report

That seemingly ordinary iPad 2 that Apple is selling for $399 has actually been modified internally in ways that, in some cases, can yield better battery life, according to a report.

Along with the new third-generation iPad, Apple in March began selling a lower-priced, $399 iPad 2.

Among those iPad 3 models is a variant, the "iPad 2,4," that sports a more advanced 32-nanometer version of the dual-core Apple A5 series chip, according to chip review site Anandtech. (The older iPad 2 uses an A5 based on a lagging-edge 45-nanometer manufacturing process.)

And an A5 built on … Read more

New Google TV taps Marvell system-on-a-chip

Google is tapping Santa Clara, Calif.-based Marvell to power its new TV, which will debut next week at CES.

Marvell's ARMADA 1500 HD Media System-on-a-Chip (SoC) has been designed into the next generation of Google TVs debuting at CES 2012, the chip supplier said Thursday. That chip is based on a design from U.K.-based ARM.

"Marvell and Google have teamed up to...[transform] the TV into the command center for our connected lifestyle," Marvell co-founder Weili Dai said in a statement.

The two companies have collaborated on software and chip technologies to grow the … Read more

Apple has big lead over Intel in mobile chips, analyst says

A chip analyst has written a sobering assessment of Intel's chip prowess vis-a-vis Apple in the mobile device race, an odd underdog position for the largest chipmaker.

In the brave new world of tablets and smartphones, chip competition isn't so much about Moore's Law but rather how the "blocks" of circuits are put together and the nexus with the software that runs on those circuits, Gus Richard, a senior research analyst at securities firm Piper Jaffray, wrote in a research note this week.

More specifically, tablets and smartphones use silicon called system-on-a-chip, or SoC, that … Read more