Last quarter (Q4 2011) something amazing happened, smartphone sales overtook PC sales for the first time. That’s great news if you’re Apple or Samsung, but horrible if you’re Intel. The chip company we all know and love for the processors that are currently inside our laptops has failed, year after year, to penetrate the mobile market. That’s going to change this year thanks to Atom Z2460 that’s going to end up in a Lenovo smartphone meant for China, a Motorola smartphone meant for America, and an Orange branded smartphone meant for the UK and France. Looking ahead, what are Intel’s plans for the future? Yesterday the company unveiled two new chips, the Atom Z2580 and the Atom Z2000. Starting with the former, it’s the Z2460 that we’ll see sometime this summer, but with two cores instead of one, the PowerVR SGX 544MP2 GPU instead of the PowerVR SGX 540, and a brand new cellular modem called the XMM7160 LTE. Said modem supports 4G LTE, which is a first for Intel.
The second chip, the Atom Z2000, is where things get interesting. It’s the Z2460, but instead of being clocked at 1.3 GHz it’s running at 1 GHz. The GPU is also clocked at 320 MHz instead of 400 MHz. In other words, it’s a slow Z2460. What makes it special though is that Intel expects the Z2000 to power smartphones that will cost just $150 unsubsidized. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it, because right now Intel is associating their chips with being the best of breed for high end smartphones.
When are we going to see these new chips? Sadly we’re going to have to wait a year, and by then who the hell knows what Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and Texas Instruments will have out on the market, but still, we’re starting to become convinced that Intel is tired of being laughed at. They want a piece of the smartphone pie, even if it means pushing and shoving to make themselves a seat at the table.
[Image Credit: The Verge]