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Mobile processor from Intel targets IoT, wearables

Posted: 13 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel? IoT? wearable? smartphone? processor?

During the recent Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China, Intel executives indicated how they consider Chinese companies and developers as part of a strategy for future endeavours in smartphones, wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT). Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in his keynote address, underlined the need for Intel and the developer community to offer next-generation technologies to China across various products and industries, from the data centre to PC and mobile devices to wearables, as well as IoT.

But other than a few more details about its roadmap for expansion of the Intel Atom x3 (codenamed SoFIA) processors into a range of connected devices, much of what the company talked about was future expectations and partnerships and how important Chinese companies and developers were to its long term efforts in this area.

Similar to the smartphone/tablet-oriented Atom x3 cores introduced at Mobile World Congress, the purpose-built IoT versions revealed to Chinese developers also have built-in 3G and LTE baseband. But they will be ruggedised for affordable, outdoor, long-range sensor device networks beyond the range of what traditional Wi-Fi-based networking solutions offer.

Atom x3 offers remarkable power consumption

Power consumption is notably absent from specs for Intel's Atom x3 processor. (Source: Intel Corp.)

Reflecting this Wi-Fi focus, the IoT-ised x3 cores will be offered in extended -40C to 80C temperature versions and will come with seven years of extended product lifecycle support. Unlike the mobile versions, which support both Windows and Android, the IoT versions of the Atom x3 will support Android and embedded Linux. Developer kits will be available sometime this summer.

Continued partnership with Rockchip

The IoT versions of the x3 will continue the partnership between Intel and ARM SoC manufacturer Rockchip, which co-designed and built the X3-C3230RK. They will incorporate many of the elements of the Atom x3 SoCs announced at MWC: two or four 64bit, 28nm fabricated Atom cores along with an ARM Mali GPU, an image sensor processor (ISP), and integrated 3G or LTE basebands. The dual-core 1GHz x3-C3130 and quad-core 1.2GHz x3-C3230RK will ship with 3G baseband and, respectively, Mali-400 MP2 and Mali-450 MP4 GPUs. The quad-core, 1.4GHz x3-C3440 includes 4G LTE baseband and a Mali-720 MP2 GPU.

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