Intel Outside: Smartphone Socs Stopped

Intel cancels development of the announced end of 2013, but unsuccessful Smartphone chips SoFIA and Broxton with nuclear cores.

For about eight years, Intel struggles unsuccessfully to the Smartphone market. Now, the company cancels the development in the forthcoming November 2013 system-on-chip SoFIA and Broxton. Thus freed up resources to flow into the development of 5G-Mobilfunktechnik. It seems but it is likely, that some of the 12,000 announced job cuts hit the area of the Smartphone SoCs: that Intel had bought some companies and corporate divisions in recent years.

Intel had announced the last quarterly GDP figures also restructuring where also present projects to the test should be. The hapless Division of Smartphone atom is among the first affected by the cuts, as Intel has confirmed in writing to US media. The analyst and consultant Patrick Moorhead had written about on Our site.

Intel outside

The former Intel CEO Paul Otellini 2007 described the system-on-chip (SoCs) of the nuclear family as the most important new product family for years. But the nuclear family succeeded only in that coveted Netbooks like Asus’ Eee PC, so in cheap laptops. And it remained so despite investment in billions of dollars, essentially until today.

Smartphones that will achieve much higher quantities than PCs and notebooks have always been the most important goal of the atom SoCs. For Intel but had components purchase, about the Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPUs. But problems plagued always on the software: on the one hand, the Windows driver for the PowerVR graphics were pursued by bad luck, on the other hand, the x 86 cores of atoms under Android brought no relevant advantages.

Affected only Smartphone-SoCs

SoFIA and Broxton are Atom, specifically targeting smartphones and Android tablets. The SoFIA chips should Atom x 3 start, especially a version with integrated UMTS modem was expected strongly. One of the major problems of the atom was that Intel’s so far failed despite purchase multiple LTE developer firms (including the Infineon Mobile Division) to sell a version with an integrated LTE modem.

Other atoms such as those for Windows tablets and compute sticks continue. Here the family Cherry Trail currently Atom x 5 Z8500 and x 7 Z8700 alias currently. There is the closely related Braswell SoCs under the product name N3000 Celeron and Pentium N3700 for cheap laptops and Mini PCs. They should be replaced end 2017 Lake with Goldmont micro-architecture by Apollo.

The cooperation between Intel and the Chinese chip developer rock chip to allegedly running. Rock chip to develop what Atom variants, is however unclear.

Curiosities Cabinet

The history of the Smartphone atom is from today’s perspective full of grotesque miscalculation. So the ex-manager Anand Chandrasekher day today for Qualcomm tried to sell about the supposedly excellent support Adobe Flash as an advantage of the atom. Now Flash part of even the scrap iron, partly because Steve Jobs personally iOS banished Flash from the iPhone operating system.

In the meantime, Intel tried to convince Smartphone manufacturer with the argument of better manufacturing technology to change the ARM SoCs on atom. But the SoFIA Atom should then make the contract manufacturer TSMC with much coarser structures when Intel controlled at the same time.

Investors Intel provided for declaration requirements beginning 2014 with the so-called “other sales” (contra-revenue): Tablet and Smartphone manufacturer were offered for atom not merely whopping discounts, but even money payments. This should help supposedly offset development costs. The contra-revenue detracted Intel’s earnings and caused losses that eventually were hidden in the profitable PC and laptop Division in the nuclear Division.

Little remains of Intel’s efforts for mobile operating system like maemo or MeeGo. Several times promised Intel Manager smartphones with x 86 technology, which have never been published. So, Paul Otellini showed the LG GW990 device once. The Aicha Evans responsible most recently for the Mobile Division had still early 2015 Windows Mobile Smartphones with the now mashed SoFIA Atom x 3 in Vista.

In hindsight (MIDs) and ultra mobile PCs (UMPCs) launched with Microsoft affect atom as well as the so-called Mobile Internet devices like helpless reactions the Smartphone boom, the first whipped up with the iPhone Apple and then Google with Android on fired. But this market is difficult, as not only the turmoil at suppliers how technologies of imagination, but also the departure of Broadcom, NEC, NVIDIA, NXP, or even TI out of business with Smartphone ARM SoCs.