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CES: Motorola will make Android phones with Atom processors

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 11 Jan 2012 17:43 User comments (1)

CES: Motorola will make Android phones with Atom processors At CES today, Intel announced two deals designed to put their latest Atom processors on the mobile device map.
New partnerships, with Motorola and Lenovo, are the culmination of some major changes in the chipmaker's Atom platform, along with development work to ensure Android compatibility. The new Z2460 Atom processor is their first true SoC (System on a Chip) mobile processor.

Starting in the second half of this year, the new processor will be appearing in Android handsets from Motorola, who signed a two year deal to produce Atom-based smartphones and tablets. Before that, in Q2, the Z2460 will be used to power a Lenovo Android phone destined for the Chinese market.

In the past, Atom processors had been generally avoided for mobile devices because they used too much power. That was largely due to their failure to build everything into the same chip. In addition to moving to an SoC design, the new Atom processors also address the power efficiency issue by using a 32nm process.

According to figures shared with Anandtech, power consumption appears competitive with the top ARM chips used in current generation smartphones.

Intel Atom Z2460 (Medfield) power consumption compared to Apple A5 and Samsung Exynos 4210 - AfterDawn.com


One notable difference between the new Atom processors and the ARM processors found in high end smartphones and tablets is the use of hyperthreading in place of multiple processor cores. It's not clear how much difference this makes for Android devices right now, but it could make a big difference in upcoming tablets running Windows 8.

While this new Atom platform seems like a huge improvement from Intel, next generation ARM Cortex-15 processors from companies like Samsung, nVidia, and TI (Texas Instruments) are expected to hit the market over the next couple of years. Intel will have to continue improving the Atom line if they want to be relevant in the mobile world.

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1 user comment

111.1.2012 18:54

Hopefully I'll have a nice selection of phones when my upgrade comes up!

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