LONDON – Samsung Electronics will use Atom-branded processors from Intel Corp. in a range of budget Android tablet computers, according to reports from Reuters and the Korea Times.
Samsung has chosen an Intel Clover Trail processor for at least one version of its Galaxy Tab 3 10.1, the Reuters report said. Clover Trial is a version of the Atom processor implemented in 32-nm CMOS.
The breakthrough by Intel into the mobile computing market is important for the company which has previously dominated personal computing but struggled to gain traction in the mobile sector. However, it is also unusual as Samsung is itself a developer and vendor of mobile processors, under the Exynos brand.
The Galaxy Tab 3 is expected to be unveiled at the Computex exhibition in Taiwan held during the first week of June.
Intel's design win was secured partly due to its willingness to offer favorable pricing and partly on its ability to provide resources to help with design work, according to the Korea Times report.
"Samsung wants to secure as many processors as possible at better pricing. That’s why Samsung Electronics has recently been diversifying its procurement channel in processor chips as a strategy to stabilize production yields of its in-house Exynos-branded processors," the Korea Times quoted a unnamed member of the Samsung research staff saying.
The same report cited an unnamed Intel Korea source saying that Intel had increased the number of chip engineers designing around the Atom processor from 6 to 50. "Most of them are working for Samsung-related projects with a mission to customize circuits for adaptation on Samsung products,” the report quoted the source saying.
Samsung will extend and develop it's products lines, temporary procuring hardware from Qualcomm, Intel and others. Until next year when a lot of production capacity becomes free with Apple leaving to TSMC. Samsung can then replace the external components with it's own....
"This can only mean one thing - for this to make business sense for Samsung they are getting the CPU for close to free or even getting money for it."
What do you think is Intel cost for an 32nm part? :o)
"Samsungs own CPUs designed and fab'ed in its own fabs should have a lower cost structure than Intel's cost + margin."
Think again - why does Samsung use QCOM - "think yield"
Intel has a clear path from 32nm to 22nm to 14nm - and probably already 10nm - not a pseudo 14nm/16nm FinFet that is based on 20nm design rules
I believe that your generality should be limited to the 32nm incarnation of Atom. Clover Trail is still a weak design - not optimized for performance and power consumption. Samsung must be getting a good deal for Clover Trail or else it doesn't make sense for it to try launching a product. In contrast, I look forward to seeing the 22nm generation Bay Trail. This should beat the hell out of the Cortex-A15.
So Samsung will pay Intel for Atom in a lower cost tablet while using its own processor at the high end.
This can only mean one thing - for this to make business sense for Samsung they are getting the CPU for close to free or even getting money for it. Samsungs own CPUs designed and fab'ed in its own fabs should have a lower cost structure than Intel's cost + margin.
Seems like a case of dumping. Hope the feds are watching because Intel has a history of keeping competitors out of the market by predatory pricing techniques.
I don't think the 32nm Intel chip is above average. Intel has always relied upon being ahead in manufacturing nodes. Most of their advantages are based on being ahead in process technology nodes. In this case, it is not. And the atom is generally acknowledged to be overly power hungry relative to arm processors. Intel also has a problem that the atom is a proprietary design and so it looks like Intel is having to provide extra support because of this limitation. It is not clear if apps will run better on the Intel silicon. I suspect they will not or that the power draw may limit the usefulness. Intel's own marketing slides talk about their more advanced process nodes as being where Intel may be competitive. But I will remain skeptical because the world is not standing still and it is not clear to me that Intel is competitive with their atom processors.
Guess it's all about the marketing dollars ... ehh... market development money from Intel..
(Hey I'm the Intel marketing guy for mobile computing. Wouldn't you want to make some Atom tablets ? Samsung: ehh... we're happy with ARM unless we get the processors for almost free... Read the book from Hector Ruiz and you'll understand...)
Samsung has a habit of trying out designs in the market, just to see if it sells. As someone above mentioned, can't imagine that Samsung ultimately doesn't want to go the route of vertical integration.
I guess he meant samy would copy Intel's technology. But I doubt whether that can happen, as Samsung only uses ARM CPU.
"Intel's design win was secured partly due to its willingness to offer favorable pricing and partly on its ability to provide resources to help with design work, according to the Korea Times report."
Samy is exploiting Intel's weakness by taking free engineering resources !
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.