Intel joined the platforms for mobile devices market very late in the game , but the company has progressed rapidly from the modest Medfield to the strong Bay Trail within just one year. The company yesterday unveiled its plans for the next two years, promising newer, faster chips with 4G modem and integrated solutions with 64bit Android tablets.
Until this summer, Atom integrated solutions have been offered in two main versions, Medfield/Lexington for mobile phones and Clover Trail/Clover Trail+ for phones and tablets. Based on Saltwell, using Bonnell ancient architecture, they have not offered but only average performances and were competitive only in the mid-range.
Since Bay Trail, Intel has made the transition to the new and more powerful processing core, Silvermont, tablets based on Silvermont are already starting to appear in the offer. As we already know, mobile version of the platform, Merrifield, will delay until the first or second quarter of next year, but Intel has provided some more details about the future of these two platforms.
It will be manufactured in a lithography process for 22-nm Merrifield chips for phones and will be available in dual-core versions in the first half of the year and quad-core in the second half. Around that same time, Bay Trail chips for tablets will get complete software support on 64-bit for Windows 8.1 platform, in the mid of the year Intel will bring us a great Android 4.4 tablet on a 64-bit architecture.
Going forward, Intel will launch by the end of next year the first fully integrated solution. Under the code name Sofia, hides an Atom solution for available mobile phones, which will initially include a 3G modem and, from 2015, LTE.
Looking ahead a generation, Intel announced that Bay Trail and Merrifield platforms will be followed by Cherry Trail and Moorefield. Designed for tablets and mobile phones, they will use Airmont cores, an update of current Silvermont will provide clock frequency of 2.7 GHz and new generation Broadwell graphics cores. They will be manufactured in a 14 nanometer process technology, will occur until the end of next year and will be found in tablets and mobile devices by 2015.
Finally, the Broxton generation, which will include Morganfield and Willow Trail platforms and will be launched somewhere in 2015. This will bring an update to the (Goldmont) processor, a graphics processor from the Skylake generation and a modular architecture that will provide greater freedom in customizing a complete chip as ARM solutions currently offers.