Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 to sport Intel processor
According to two separate reports, at least one version of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will ship with an Intel Clover Trail+ processor inside. A few days ago purported specs for the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 got leaked and the dual-core 1.6 GHz CPU in there sure sounded completely unexciting. However, if that’s an Intel Atom, things change.
The exact chipset used seems to be the Atom Z2560. This uses the Clover Trail+ architecture just as the Z2580 that’s already been seen inside smartphones such as the Lenovo K900. That said, the Z2580 is clocked at 2 GHz. There are no other big differences between the two, but it’s going to be interesting to find out (or speculate on) why Samsung chose the chip that’s clocked lower. This if the rumored specs from a few days ago were right, of course.
Either way, this could be Intel’s big break in the mobile space. The company nicknamed Chipzilla has been trying to get in this game for many years, but so far only with moderate success. Its chips are inside many smartphones, but most of those are cheap midrangers aimed at emerging markets. The aforementioned Lenovo K900 is the exception, as it’s high-end through and through, but even that is only available in China. Yet Samsung is sure to give its next full size Galaxy Tab a global launch, so this could mean Intel will finally have a processor inside a device that many people will use.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will apparently make its debut at Computex 2013 in Taiwan, which takes place next week. Samsung is looking to replicate the incredible success it has in the smartphone space over in the tablet world this year. As it wants to sell loads of tablets, it needs a steady supply of chipsets to power them. And it looks like the company is still having issues manufacturing as many own-brand Exynos CPUs as it needs, so it’s still looking to outsource. It chose Qualcomm for the Galaxy S4, for example, but Intel offered cheap enough chipsets for tablets that the Koreans noticed. Hence, why an Atom will be inside the Galaxy Tab 3.
The people supposedly familiar with these matters didn’t outright say that Intel offered lower prices than Qualcomm, but what else are we to understand from this? It would be an interesting move from Chipzilla, undercutting its main rival in the mobile space in price, hoping to get in bed with Samsung. Furthermore, it looks like Intel’s also hired many engineers in Korea, people that are working directly with Samsung to “customize circuits for adaptation on Samsung products”. This implies that the Galaxy Tab 3 won’t be a one-off partnership between Samsung and Intel.
So where Nvidia, TI, ST-Ericsson and others have failed, Intel may have a chance. We’re talking about truly challenging Qualcomm. Don’t worry though – increased competition is a good thing. It will only lead to better chipsets.