Intel has scored a mobile win with Samsung and will power at least one Galaxy tablet in the near future says VentureBeat. The site’s sources on Saturday confirmed our own reports from earlier this week when benchmarks of an Intel-powered Galaxy Tab appeared online. There could be several tablet variants from Samsung and others could use Samsung’s own chip.
Even if Intel powers just one Android tablet made by Samsung, it would be big for the Intel Atom team. Since debuting the Atom chip five years ago, it has typically been used in low-end PCs such as netbooks. Over the past year, Intel managed to get Atom silicon inside a few smartphones, but none of those devices have gone on to be major sales hits. The chip does power Windows 8(msft) tablets as well.
In this case, Samsung is one of the top Android tablet makers, giving Intel a chance to prove its Atom has the right blend of power and efficiency to compete in the growing mobile market.
I noted earlier this week that Samsung could be considering the move in order to keep its Exynos chips available for higher demand devices such as the Galaxy S 4 smartphone:
“So why would Samsung, which makes it own chips for smartphones and tablets, consider an Intel inside its newest Galaxy Tab? Samsung could be keeping the Exynos for its own handsets, such as the new Galaxy S 4, because it sells more handsets than tablets. The company’s tablets wouldn’t like suffer any performance hit by using Intel’s silicon either; at least not if the early benchmarks are valid.”
The timing of a potential Intel Atom design win is a little surprising to me. The company will debut the next generation of Atom chips called Silvermont in the second half of this year, promising three times the computing power or five times the power efficiency of the current Atom processors.