When it comes to the mobile market, Intel is coming on strong as of late, and we’re not just talking about with notebooks. Intel’s Atom processors, while not as potent as their Celeron and Core counterparts, allowed mainstream tablets to run a full-featured version of Windows while still offering respectable performance and decent battery life.
Intel is ready to unleash a new family of Atom processors, and it’s taking a cue from its highly successful Core series of processors. Similar to the Good, Better, Best strategy with the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7, Intel is renaming its Atom family with x3, x5, and x7 designations. With its new Atom processors, Intel is looking to take on the likes of Qualcomm and MediaTek in the smartphone, tablet, and notebook/convertible markets.
There's actually come interesting news coming from the low-end, 28nm Atom x3, which is based on Smart or Feature phone with Intel Architecture (SoFIA). The Atom x3 will be available in three distinct variants; all of which will come with integrated modems — a first for the Atom family. All three variants are 64-bit capable, but that’s where the similarities end. The Atom x3-C3130 tops out at 1GHz, incorporates a Mali 400 MP2 GPU, and includes an integrated 3G (HSPA+) modem. The Atom x3-C3230RK bumps the max clock speed to 1.2GHz, throws in a Mali 450 MP4 GPU, and the same 3G modem. Finally, the Atom x3-C3440 clocks in at 1.4GHz, features a Mali T720 MP2 graphics core, incorporates a Category 6 LTE modem, and can optionally support NFC.
Moving on to the Cherry Trail-based Atom x5 and x7, these are the first Atom SoCs to be built using a 14nm manufacturing process. Both processor families of course support 64-bit processing, incorporate eighth generation Intel graphics, and support both Windows and Android operating systems. They also support Intel technologies like RealSense, True Key, and Pro WiDi. And while the Atom x5 and x7 don’t feature integrated modems like the Atom x3, they do support Intel’s next generation XMM 726x and 7360 LTE modems.
Intel claims that the range-topping Atom x7 offers two times the graphics performance of the existing Atom Z3795 in the GFXBench 2.7 T-Rex HD benchmark and 50 percent greater performance on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark.
Intel has already announced that the Atom x3 and Cherry Trail-based Atom x5 and x7 processors are currently shipping, and that products using the processors should be available during the first half of 2015.