Intel details Merrifield new phone chip; Homegrown LTE for Bay Trail tablets

Jun 4, 2013
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Intel details Merrifield new phone chip; Homegrown LTE for Bay Trail tablets

Intel has shown off its new chips for tablets, smartphones, and LTE-enabled devices, with Silvermont, Bay Trail-T, and Merrifield all revealed at Computex 2013 today. Merrifield, due to show up in Intel-powered smartphones from early 2014, is the company's next-gen smartphone platform, a 22nm Atom SoC that was, for today's show, wrapped up in a new touchscreen reference design.

Intel was coy on specific details about the phone, and indeed about Merrifield, though did let slip a couple of elements the new Atom chip will bring. Unsurprisingly there's talk of both more performance and more battery life; however, there's also apparently an "integrated sensor hub" that will be used for "personalized services."

Intel hasn't said exactly what those services might be - nor, indeed, what types of sensors will be included - but it does remind us of Motorola's comments last week about the incoming Moto X, and how the company was looking to contextual understanding for its new range of phones. Merrifield will also include "capabilities for data, device, and privacy protection," Intel says.

As for tablets, first up will be Bay Trail-T, the 22nm quadcore Atom SoC that's expected to crop up in slates for the holiday season. Bay Trail-T is good for more than twice the processor power of current Atom for tablet chips, Intel claims, as well as a boost in processor performance; 8hrs or more of battery life is supposedly possible, based on a 10.1-inch Full HD slate with a 30Wh power pack. "Weeks of standby" and support for Android and Windows 8.1 are also promised.

However, down the line there's Silvermont, Intel's 22nm "low power, high performance" architecture for phones and slates. Still no word on when, exactly, that will be ready for prime-time, however.

Finally, Intel has at last rolled together its own 4G LTE modem, a multimode system to pair with next-gen 22nm quadcore Bay Trail-T Atom SoCs for tablets. Intel is promising global LTE roaming - no small feat, given the array of different networks in operation around the world - from the XMM 7160, despite the chip also apparently being one of the world's smallest.


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