Intel is expected to announce the Clover Trail+ mobile CPUs at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which will be Intel’s first dual-core chip for smartphones. The Atom CPU provides double the computing performance and triple the graphics capabilities of its predecessor, Medfield, and will use the same level of power consumption as the Medfield chips.
Intel chips have been power draining in the past—using more power than ARM-based chips—and thus, haven’t been used in many smartphones and tablets. Intel seeks to turn that around this year. “They’re really making significant inroads in mobile processors,” said Creative Strategies analyst Tim Bajarin. “This new Clover Trail is probably the first real step toward Intel becoming a significant player in the smartphone arena.” Intel’s Clover Trail+ CPUs will come in three variations: 1.2GHz, 1.6GHz, and 2.0GHz, 1.6GHz. All of these CPUs will come with an Intel graphics media accelerator engine with a graphics core supporting up to 533MHz with boost mode.
Some smartphone manufacturers are already on board with the new Intel CPU. Lenovo is expected to unveil the K900 (above), which will use the Clover Trail+ CPU, and Asus is also expected to announce products that will make use of the Clover Trail+ CPU.
However, Clover Trail+ might not last long, as it is a 32 nanometer (nm) processor and uses older architecture. Intel said it will transition to 22 nm processors and a newer architecture later this year with its new CPU, Merrifield. Although Intel didn’t talk too much about Merrifield, it did say that the CPU “will help enable increased smartphone performance, power efficiency, and battery life.”
Intel also discussed a 22 nm chip that will be used with tablets, named Bay Trail. This will be Intel’s first quad-core Atom chip and will have double the processing power of the current-generation tablet chip. It is expected to debut by the 2013 holiday season. Although it is not known which tablets will be using this chip yet, it has been rumored that the Asus FonePad, a phablet, will probably use the Bay Trail CPU.