Intel showcased its new Intel Atom x3 chip for smartphones at the firm's developer event in China, as well as announcing an expansion of the chips to target the Internet of Things and a turnkey programme to drive the Atom x5 chips into the tablet market.
Intel is celebrating 30 years of investment with Chinese partners at Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen this week, and much of the activity has focused on the Atom chips, especially the Atom x3 line for smartphones developed in partnership with China-based Rockchip and Spreadtrum.
"Intel remains focused on delivering leadership products and technologies in traditional areas of computing, while also investing in new areas and entrepreneurs - students, makers and developers - to find and fuel future generations of innovation with China," said Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich.
Intel showcased what it claimed is the first live demonstration of a smartphone based on the Atom x3 supporting LTE connectivity on China Mobile's network. This chip is expected to ship in the second half of this year, although a version with 3G (the Atom x3-C3130) has been shipping since the beginning of March.
Krzanich also showed off a 6in smartphone prototype that features a longer-range version of Intel's RealSense camera technology.
Meanwhile, the Atom x3 processor roadmap will be extended with versions targeting the Internet of Things. The new purpose-built processors will feature an extended temperature range for extreme weather conditions, support for Linux and Android, and will be offered with a longer seven year product lifecycle. Developer kits for these will be available in the second half of this year, Intel said.
Intel also said that multiple device manufacturers are developing products based on the quad-core Atom x3-C3230RK reference design from Rockchip, and that the first products are expected to come to market later this quarter.
The chipmaker disclosed that it is also looking to expand a "turnkey programme" started last year to drive uptake of the Atom x3 chips in smartphones. Intel plans to expand the programme to include the Atom x5 processor to reduce the time to market for tablets based on the chip.
The programme offers device makers a customisable reference design with applications, software tools, and quality and certification support, backed by a component catalogue.
Systems based on the Atom x5 and x7 are expected from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba and others, and are due to hit the market in the first half of this year.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has already announced the Surface 3 tablet, based on the Atom x7-Z8700 chip, which is set to ship in May.
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