Semiconductor giant Intel is to start producing mobile and embedded systems using its latest manufacturing process technology in a bid to muscle in on a market that it had previously ignored.
The company is planning to launch a number of platforms this year and next intended to ratchet up the performance of its offerings, according to sources quoted in the Far Eastern trade journal Digitimes.
By the end of 2013, a new smartphone system-on-a-chip (SoC) produced using 22-nanometre process technology, codenamed "Merrifield", will be introduced, followed by "Moorefield" in the first half of 2014. "Morganfield", which will be produced on forthcoming 14-nanometre process manufacturing technology, will be available from the first quarter of 2015.
Merrifield ought to offer a performance boost of about 50 per cent combined with much improved battery life compared to Intel's current top-end smartphone platform, called Clover Trail+.
More immediately, Intel will be releasing "Bay Trail-T" microprocessors intended for Windows 8 and Android tablet computers. The Bay Trail-T architecture will offer a battery life of about eight hours in use, but weeks when it is idling, according to Digitimes sources.
The Bay Trail-T may be unveiled at the Intel Developer Forum in September, when Intel will also be unveiling "Bay Trail" on which the T-version is based. Bay Trail will be produced on the 22-nanometre Silvermont architecture.
Digitimes was quoting sources among Taiwan-based manufacturers.
Intel's current Intel Atom microprocessors for mobile phones - such as the Motorola Raxr-I and the Prestigio MultiPhone - are based on 32-nanometre technology, a generation behind the manufacturing process technology that it is using to produce its latest desktop and laptop microprocessors.
However, the roadmap suggests that Intel is planning to produce its high-end smartphone and tablet computer microprocessors and SoC platforms using the same manufacturing technology as desktop and server products in a bid to gain an edge on ARM-based rivals from Samsung, Qualcomm, TSMC and other producers.
Manufacturers of ARM-based microprocessors, which currently dominate the high-performance market for mobile and embedded microprocessors, trail in terms of the manufacturing technology that they can build their systems with, compared to Intel.
Intel, though, has been turning its attention to mobile and embedded as laptop, PC and server sales have stalled.