Intel unveils 64-bit chips for smartphones and tablets

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Intel unveils 64-bit chips for smartphones and tablets

Intel has unveiled its first 64-bit chips for Android smartphones and tablets, codenamed Merrifield and Moorefield.

The dual-core Merrifield and quad-core Moorefield chips are both based on Intel's Silvermont architecture - first seen at the end of last year in its "Bay Trail" Atom processors - and manufactured on Intel's 22nm process.

Android phones and tablets running Merrifield will appear in the second quarter of this year, while devices running the faster Moorefield will pop up in the second half.

Launching the chips at Mobile World Congress, Intel claimed Merrifield outperformed its rivals in preliminary benchmarks, boasting better speed and performance across the board than Apple's A7 chip and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800.

Intel said Merrifield offers better power-efficiency than its predecessor Clover Trail+. Other improvements include a dedicated video signal processor, plus integration with Intel's own sensor hardware. That means devices should use less battery power when tracking location or other contextual data.

Merrifield comes with a PowerVR G6400 GPU and supports up to 4GB of 533MHz RAM. Moorefield comes with a slightly more powerful GPU, and offers support for faster memory.

Intel has been slow to catch up in the mobile market, grabbing a fractional share compared with Qualcomm. But Intel president Renee James said that was changing, and boasted of the firm's progress in the mobile market.

"Intel knows 64-bit computing, and we're the only company currently shipping 64-bit processors supporting multiple operating systems today, and capable of supporting 64-bit Android when it is available," she said.

Qualcomm separately launched two new 64-bit, mid-tier chips at Mobile World Congress, the octa-core Snapdragon 615 and the quad-core Snapdragon 610, with devices due towards the end of the year.

Intel said Lenovo, Asus, Dell and Foxconn had signed multi-year agreements to put Atom chips into smartphones and tablets.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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