Intel Throws in the Towel on the Atom Processor

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, May 3, 2016.

  1. dgstorm

    dgstorm Editor in Chief
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    This was a bit of a shock from out of left field late yesterday. Intel announced they will be cancelling their SoFIA platform and the next gen Broxton chips. That basically means they have effectively killed the Atom processor, which has been struggling to make any headway in the mobile world.

    Intel did not clarify if this means they are exiting the mobile market altogether or if they are simply planning to move in a different direction with some unknown future tech. The principal reason for Intel's lack of success in the mobile chipset market isn't even just the heavy competition from Qualcomm, Samsung and MediaTek in the space. The fact of the matter is that the Atom chipset never lived up to Intel's media hype in performance or battery efficiency.

    Now we are left wondering about future and current tech that utilizes the Atom processor. What does this mean for various mid-range smartphones and the upcoming Microsoft HoloLens? Apparently, they will need something new to power them in the future. Will it be Samsung, Qualcomm or someone else entirely?

    For Microsoft at least, retooling the HoloLens for something shouldn't be too tough. In fact, most of the current rumint indicates that Microsoft was already planning on using Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 830 for the Surface Phone. If they are already partnered up with Qualcomm on this device, it seems like it would be easy to replace the internals of the HoloLens with a Qualcomm chipset. This is especially true considering it is still in the prototype stages.

    What do you folks think? Is Intel getting out of the mobile market, or will they come up with something to replace the Atom?

    Source: SlashGear
     
  2. johnomaz

    johnomaz Silver Member

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    Wow, and here we thought the presense of Intel would diversify it. Looks like Qualcomm will maintain their dominance.
     
  3. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Yes, it really is a disappointing development. Competition breeds innovation and drives advancement. I hope this doesn't cause the likes of Qualcomm and others to get complacently lazy.

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  4. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Premium Member
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    Intel has been struggling in the mobile sector for years.. Guess it was time for them to cut their losses...
     
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  5. Amagine

    Amagine Active Member

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    I think the majority of the problem was two fold. First off. The chip was a dud. Sure it could do basic mobile processing but past that it was really really limited Intel just couldn't ring out the kind of performance out of the Atom line as Qualcomm could. It was also a spurred line of chips. Common with just about none of the rest of Intel's chip architecture. Which meant that both development time and costs were going to be long and high. Making cost for mobile tech with these chips higher.
    To make matters worst, they marketed as a thin tech solution as well.This brings back into play problem number one. Performance. Everything from tablets and netbooks to IOT devices got the chip, just to prove that it could be a player and that problem one wasn't an issue. However, the Atom against a full powered chip, even a cheaper Celeron or Pentium line in a similar tablet/Laptop configuration just couldn't stack up. So why, after viewing a bigger device with lucklaster capabilities and the same chip would you cast lots with a mobile device on the same platform?

    It also didn't help that their biggest buyer Microsoft, wanted to go to a full power chip for their Surface lines.

    All that aside. I think the primary reason for the closure is to close ranks behind the i X line. The newest chips seem to have become able to handle the heat issue consistently well and even the lower class processors aren't losing THAT much capability to their bigger brothers.

    For those of you that don't know, the Celeron and Pentium lines are merely i-line chips that don't pass the mustard. Depending on where they bench test, Cores are turned dark or tuned to create a Celeron or Pentium line product. Thus I imagine that, soon Intel will be coming out with a iM or something. Nothing more than a tweaked i-Line chip for the mobile platform.
     
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  6. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    Can I be the first to say...WOW! That's quite a response and a hoard of information.
     
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  7. badtoy1986

    badtoy1986 Active Member

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    I was always hoping that Intel and Nvida would succeed. We need more competition. I am not sure that in house manufacturer processors are good for the community. Nvidia looked good for a while and I'm not sure why Intel never just licensed and designed an arm64 processor.
     
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  8. FoxKat

    FoxKat Premium Member
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    +1

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  9. Amagine

    Amagine Active Member

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    Thanks. I don't have my finger on the pulse of the mobile world like you Kat but I seriously don't think Intel is going to step out of mobile all together. Especially how small and efficient their standard cores are becoming.
     
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  10. FoxKat

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    Well the things I enjoy on here most, are teaching and learning. Sometimes it's me teaching, but more often than not it's people like you who are teaching me (and others in the process). Great post and I for one am looking forward to more valuable content from you.

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