MWC 2014: Intel Announces 64-bit Processors And Major Supply Deals

Intel has announced two 64-bit processors as it looks to further establish itself as a key player in the mobile device market.

The company took the wraps of its latest ‘Merrifield’ chipset today at Mobile World Congress, whilst also teasing several details around its upcoming ‘Moorefield’ processor. The two new processors will replace Clover Trail as Intel’s top line mobile hardware, with Merrifield powered devices beginning to appear in the second quarter of the year.

Intel also announced multi-year agreements with Lenovo, Asus, Dell, and Foxconn to build tablets and smartphones containing Intel Atom processors and other hardware, further demonstrating the company’s commitment to the mobile market.

Future preview

Based on Intel’s 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture, Merrifield is a 2.13GHz 64-bit Atom Z3480 processor which offers improved performance and battery life to select Android devices. It also features a new graphics core built by Imagination Technologies, along with Intel’s new ‘Integrated Sensor Solution’, which monitors data from a variety of sensors to keep applications contextually aware even when the device is in on standby or asleep.

“The continued growth of the mobile ecosystem depends on solving tough computing challenges – unlocking data’s potential while securely and reliably connecting billions of devices with leading edge computing and communications technologies,” said Intel’s president Renee James. “Today we are announcing leading communications products as well as new computing platforms. As a result, Intel is well-positioned to shape the future of mobile computing and the Internet of Things.”

The company also provided some details regarding its Moorefield SoC, which should be available in devices by the second half of the year. Building on the Merrifield feature set, Moorefield adds two additional cores to run at 2.3GHz, as well as an enhanced GPU and support for faster memory.

Intel’s announcements follow a launch by Qualcomm, whose chips are in vastly more mobile devices than Intel has achieved. Qualcomm also announced 64-bit processors today. The San Diego-based company released two mid-range processors, the Snapdragon 610 and 615, with the latter becoming the first commercially available octa-core chipset featuring both integrated LTE and 64-bit capabilities, despite having previously derided the technology as unnecessary for mobile devices.

This was noted by Intel’s James, who stated that all Intel Atom processors today support 64-bit technology. “Sixty-four bit computing is moving from the desktop to the mobile device,” James said. “Intel knows 64-bit computing, and we’re the only company currently shipping 64-bit processors supporting multiple operating systems today, and capable of supporting 64-bit Android when it is available.”

Intel recently said it expected no revenue growth in 2014, due to an expected decline in PC sales worldwide, and also announced it would be cutting 5,000 jobs worldwide (around 5 percent of its workforce), in order to cut costs. Intel’s future now appears to be focused towards integrating various areas of technology into the Internet of Things, with the company taking to the stage at CES to demonstrate a number of new products, including some examples of wearable technology, which it hopes will bring diversity to its offerings.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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