Intel has formally introduced the Atom x3 processor series—formerly code-named soFIA—targeted at tablets, phablets and smartphones. The SoC combines Intel's 64-bit multi-core Atom processors together with 3G or 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity, along with an applications processors, image sensor processors, graphics, audio, connectivity and power management components in a single system chipset, Intel said.
Intel said 20 companies have already signed on to integrate the Atom x3 processors in upcoming offerings, including Acer, ASUS, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba. The first devices are expected to be on the market in the first half of 2015.
Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel, said in a statement that the growth of smart connected devices "has led to increased demand for more connectivity and real-time, protected data on those devices." Krzanich added these factors are leading to an acceleration of “the delivery of new personal computing experiences, services and capabilities in a safe and secure manner."
Intel also announced at the show its third-generation five-mode, LTE Advanced Category 10 modem with support for 3x carrier aggregation and download speeds up to 450 Mbps. Intel said the device gives manufacturers a competitive option to design and launch LTE devices in various market segments and geographies. Also at Mobile World Congress, Intel demonstrated how the LTE modem works in a pre-5G concept system.
Finally, Intel outlined its joint efforts with Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei to address the demand for new telecommunications, cloud and data center services, improved network efficiency and accelerate the move to a software-defined infrastructure.
Alcatel-Lucent introduced its virtual radio access network (vRAN) offering using Intel's Xeon processors that the company claims will enable cost savings and increased network performance. The vRAN will begin customer trials this year and is slated for commercial availability in 2016. Using Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, Ericsson announced new platforms for its cloud system targeted at lowering the cost ownership (TCO) and greater efficiency in networks. Huawei and Intel are also collaborating on cloud offerings to increase network virtualization performance of its FusionSphere architecture.
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