Published on February 5, 2013 3:18 PM

MWC 2013: Intel Takes Offensive in Battle for Mobile Supremacy

Two new SoCs: Atom Z2580 and Atom Z2420

Three weeks from now, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Intel will be presenting two new SoCs for mobile devices. Should Nvidia, Qualcomm and Samsung be worried?

At CES 2013 in Las Vegas, Intel's biggest talking point was its upcoming mobile SoC, Bay Trail. This new addition to the Atom range will have a new architecture with a finer transistor process. But it won't be released until late 2013/early 2014.

Until then, the Santa Clara firm isn't just sitting on its laurels; it has just announced that it will be launching the Atom Z2580 and Z2420. The Z2580 is a high-end system-on-chip that will be featured in the Lenovo K900 smartphone. It has a 1.3 GHz dual-core processor with a turbo mode that boosts the clock rate up to 1.8 GHz and supports Hyper-Threading. As a result the SoC will behave as though it had four cores, two physical and two logical.

For graphics it has a 533 MHz PowerVR SGX544MP2, so the gaming performance should be lower than Samsung's Exynos Octa, which has three SGX544 graphics cores. The Z2580 will also include a Category 3 4G-compatible and DC-HSDPA 3G-compatible modem (42 Mbps - dual-carrier).

The more modestly equipped Atom Z2420 is an entry-level/mid-range model with a single 1.2 GHz processing core that also supports Hyper-Threading (in which the SoC recognises multiple cores at once). Acer has just recently announced the first smartphone that will boast the Atom Z2420, the Liquid C1. It has a 4.3-inch screen, 960 x 540 resolution, an 8-Megapixel camera and a 2,000 mAh battery.

What's left to see is whether or not Intel will be able to convince more brands to put its SoCs in their smartphones and tablets. How well the chips fare will also depend on how efficiently they manage their energy, as the competition has been busy coming up with their own solutions...

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