With SoCs for smartphones one thinks first of all the Snapdragons, Kirins, Exynos and MediaTeks. Less to a processor manufacturer, who has the nose ahead in the case of desktops and servers: Intel. The Californians were not so successful with the mobile variant of the Atom processor mobile, but their partner Spreadtrum wants to start again an attempt.
The Chinese company is currently developing an octa-core processor based on Intel’s Atom CPU with the Airmont architecture. The chip with the minimal catchy name Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA is to be installed according to the manufacturer in midrange and high-end smartphones and is significantly more powerful than the Atom chips, which had itself then produced by Intel. The specs are rather medium class.
On the SoC, the eight-core Atom is equipped with two gigahertz clocks (Octa-CoreBFD-S), supported by the graphics chip PowerVR GT7200 and support for a dual camera with 13 Megapixel resolution per lens.
In addition, the Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA can control displays with WQXGA resolution (2560 x 1600 pixels) and videos with the H.265 codec. The standard will be used by all streaming vendors in the future thanks to the lower bit rate and the same quality.
By the way, the processor on the SoC is produced in 14nm process, the same transistor size as Intel’s Kaby Lake and Skylake processors for desktop PCs and laptops. So, does Intel, via this indirect route, once again enter the mobile processor market, which they had left last year?
Perhaps. At least, Intel will build additional chips with focus on the IoT market and then integrate network components into the self-developed SoCs. The market is growing rapidly, especially in the famous industry 4.0, thus providing an opportunity for Intel to gain a foothold there. In the SoCs market for smartphones it will be much more difficult because of the massive competition.
Whether smartphones with the Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA come to the West, remains questionable. The modem supports the TD-LTE, FDD LTE, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA and EGG LTE standards. This suggests that the chip will be designed for smartphones in the Chinese market when it goes into production in the second quarter of 2017.