Smartphones come with their differentiators, the primary ones being the chips working inside them.  Capitalizing on that little fact is Intel Corp, who on Monday unveiled a new set of mobile chips at the MWC in Barcelona, hoping to gain strides (and profits) in the smartphone battlefield.

In late 2013, ‘Sophia’ was born, in between meeting with investors and a result of responses to a growing market in China for low-cost handsets often priced below $100. MWC saw the unveiling of  Atom x3, x5 and x7 mobile chips. ‘Sofia’ is the codename for x3, Intel’s first SoC, while the x5 and x7 were formerly known as the ‘Cherry Trail’ chips. The latter are aimed to mainstream and high-end tablets, and offer incrementally good graphics performance, compared to their predecessors . Although Intel develops everything in house, X3 has had help from rival ARM for ATOM x86.

Aicha Evans who is th GM of the Platform Engineering Group said,

We went from PowerPoint to shipping in 15 months. We feel we are establishing a foundation that we will build on.

Qualcomm and MediaTek, popular rivals are leagues ahead when it comes to smartphone markets. Intel specializes and excels in micro processors for computers and data centers, so this is kind of an uncharted territory for them. More than being unchartered, its a failed territory where Intel tried its best, but couldn;t replicate the notebook success.

They’ve got experience and expertise working for them, so their efforts in hauling themselves into the market should be in their favor, along with the extreme spending they are doing. In 2014, Intel lost $4.2 billion in its mobile business. The new chips should be assets in covering those losses and earning profits.

Device makers have already agreed to use the chips- Dell, Acer, Lenovo, HP and Toshiba. Products will be expected in the first half of this year.


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