Samsung is a pretty successful company, mostly because everything it puts inside its gadgets it builds in-house. That's why it was pretty surprising when the Galaxy Tab 3 came out with an Intel Clover Trail+ processor. Why is Samsung paying for someone else's chips?
We chatted to Intel's VP and GM of Mobile and Communications Group, Hermann Eul today about the new mobile processors, and he said that Samsung have included the Galaxy because 'they've seen the sense' of Intel's ecosystem, and it won't be the last Samsung device with Intel gear:
I have barely seen Samsung doing one-offs. I think Samsung has discovered the power and richness of our platforms. This is not a one off.
Interestingly, the Galaxy S III and the brand new Galaxy S4 also have an Intel presence, not in the processor mind you: Intel lives in the modem technology of those products. The more you know.
Hermann spent an hour at a press conference this afternoon in Taipei laying out the road map for Intel's next generation chips, showing off next-generation Atom chips — codenamed Bay Trail — on tablets which we'll see around the end of the year, as well as Merrifield smartphone technology which we'll see shipped to manufacturers in time for 2014 Mobile World Congress.
In the meantime, Intel has Clover Field+, which is a bespoke system for Android tablets which is promising twice the performance of previous Clover Field tablets, as well as longer battery life with better graphics performance. Clover Field+ sits at the heart of the Lenovo K900 which has been shipping to developing markets for the last little while, and it's also the chipset sitting at the centre of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.
Core Wars: Why The Meaningless Numbers Have To End
In the middle of all this argy-bargy over processors and who makes them lies a complex numbers game as old as the very first megapixel wars. These days the fight is over processor cores. With dual-core now being superseded by quad-core and now octa-core processors, it's like the megapixel wars all over again. The good news is that, according to Hermann, we won't have to live in the conflict for long.
Intel keeps crowing about its scalable architecture, especially in mobile with Silvermont, and that's exactly what it's counting on to see it through the core wars. Taking a swipe at processors like NVIDIA's Tegra chips that burst out into their additional cores, Hermann said that:
"Have you ever seen an eight cylinder engine that has another four cylinder engine next to it?"
Seems fair, but can Intel build the right eight-cylinder engine?
Luke Hopewell travelled to Computex 2013 as a guest of Intel