Intel vows to outgun rivals as mobile chip war heats up
Intel has vowed to outperform its chip rivals in multiple markets, including in the traditional PC space - which Intel currently dominates - as well as the ARM-controlled mobile sector.
"Our job is to ensure our silicon is so compelling, in terms of running the Mac better or being a better iPad device, that as they make those decisions [about chips competitors] can’t ignore us," Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during the company’s annual investor day in Santa Clara, California. "We're increasingly bringing the best of Intel technology to mobile devices - phones and tablets."
Otellini also seemed bullish about Santa Clara’s prospects in the hyper-competitive smartphone market, with Intel-powered (Medfield) smartphones hitting the streets of both India and China.
"A year ago there was no one who was not an Intel employee who thought Intel stood a chance in this business... And now you’re asking what our market share goals are."
Unsurprisingly, Intel seems to have adopted a two-pronged approach to smartphone chip development, with one upcoming processor targeting high-performance smartphones and the other aimed at lower-end handsets.
The 22nm Merrifield processor - slated for higher-end smartphones in 2013 - boasts a new chip design and a retooled graphics core designed to offer a more "immersive experience" than today's handsets.
Meanwhile, lower-end x86 smartphones will be powered by a 22-nm integrated chip that is the successor to the Atom Z2000 chip. 14nm processors are expected in 2014, although details and specs about the future SoC’s have yet to be detailed.
Finally, Otellini discussed Intel’s Ultrabook and tablet push, showing off a number of designs and form factors, including Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga, which flips from a notebook to a tablet. Such hybrid designs, says Otellini, are likely to be "the next big thing."
The CEO was particularly optimistic about x86-powered Windows 8 based tablets, stating that Intel maintains an advantage over ARM-based architecture due to application and peripheral compatibility, as well as manufacturing techniques.
"We're increasingly bringing the best of Intel technology to mobile devices - phones and tablets," Otellini added.