Intel's president didn't waste any time sharing the company's vision for the smallest of mobile devices to the most complex mobile networks at Mobile World Congress. Rene James detailed an expanding product portfolio that aims to compete in today's mobile ecosystem and shape the next era of computing, the Internet of Things.
James introduced two Intel Atom processors and an LTE-Advanced communications platform before announcing multi-year agreements with Lenovo, Asus and Foxconn to put more Intel-based mobile devices on the market. She also discussed how Intel is re-architecting the network infrastructure to reduce costs and make it easier for service providers to deliver better customer experiences and new services in an era of big data.
"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 James, who added that Intel is "well-positioned to shape the future of mobile computing and the Internet of Things."
Merrifield Is More
First, Intel launched the 2.13GHz Atom processor Z3480 that promises fast performance and long battery life for Android smartphones and tablets. The 64-bit System-on-a-Chip (SoC) aims at both mainstream and performance segments. Based on Intel's 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture, the new processor features a PowerVR Series 6 Graphics IP core from Imagination Technologies.
Dubbed Merrifield, it is the first Intel Atom SoC to feature the new Intel Integrated Sensor Solution, which works to efficiently manage sensor data to keep applications smart and contextually aware even when the device is in a low-power state. Intel expects Merrifield-based devices from multiple OEMs to launch beginning in the second quarter.
"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."
Moorefield Is Next
Intel also shared new details on its next-generation 64-bit Intel Atom processor, code-named "Moorefield," for devices expected to be available in the second half of the year. Building on the Merrifield feature set, Moorefield adds two additional Intel architecture cores for up to 2.3GHz of compute performance, an enhanced GPU and support for faster memory. Moorefield is optimized for Intel's 2014 LTE platform, the Intel XMM 7260, which the company also introduced on Monday.
The Intel XMM 7260 delivers competitive LTE-Advanced capabilities including carrier aggregation, category 6 speeds and support for TDD LTE and TD-SCDMA, which expands the addressable market. Intel this week is demonstrating the 7260 achieving peak LTE-Advanced Category 6 data rates of simultaneous 300Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink with carrier aggregation technology.
"We are entering 2014 with a very competitive mobile portfolio spanning application processors and communications platforms that will only get stronger," said Hermann Eul, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group, during the press conference. "Our new Atom processors for Android smartphones and tablets offer leading 64-bit performance and battery life, and the new 7260 platform gives the ecosystem a compelling LTE-Advanced experience."
Pushing Out Mobile Products
Meanwhile, features of the free, full-featured McAfee Mobile Security offering for Android devices is now available. It promises stronger protection features and unlocks security extensions for Intel-based mobile devices. Specifically, the free McAfee Mobile Security includes anti-virus, app protection, Web protection, and call/SMS filter, in addition to anti-theft and contact back-up.
Intel and Lenovo announced plans to introduce new Intel-based mobile devices in 2014. Both companies will dedicate engineering resources to deliver what Intel calls "unique experiences" across a variety of smartphone and tablet form factors spanning value to performance market segments. Lenovo also said it plans to incorporate Intel LTE connectivity into some Ultrabook and multi-mode designs.
Asus plans to bring a portfolio of Intel-based smartphones and tablets to market in 2014. The company recently introduced its ZenFone line of smartphones and the unique PadFone mini, both of which feature Intel processors and communications platforms. Asus unveiled the Asus Fonepad 7 LTE, featuring an Intel Atom processor and Intel LTE connectivity at the show.
Dell and Intel are expanding their longstanding collaboration to include new tablets. Intel-based products from Dell will span Android and Windows solutions. And Foxconn and Intel are teaming up to drive the broader, global availability of high-quality, affordable Intel-based Android tablets. Intel will provide Atom processors and communications platforms for a range of Foxconn products, beginning with tablets, in 2014.