Merrifield chipset: Intel's latest bet to capture smartphone market

During Intel's keynote speech at the ongoing Computex, head of Intel's sales and marketing group Tom Kilroy unveiled the company's next-gen mobile chips. The chip, codenamed Merrifield, is set to give better performance and battery life than the current-generation of Intel's Clover Trail chips.

The new Merrifield Atom-based chips are said to offer around 50 percent better performance and “much improved” battery life than its predecessor, according to Kilroy. The chip is set to start shipping to smartphone manufacturers next year. The chip is primarily aimed towards making high-end phones and will be succeeding the current Medfield and Clover Trail chips.

Intel is hoping its new chips can help it win against ARM

Intel is hoping its new chips can help it win against ARM


Along with this, Kilroy also gave a live demonstration of tablets running its new Bay Trail chips. The tablets on show had LTE connectivity, which is a big step forward for the company considering the fact that so far, Atom-based smartphones and tablets have only managed to as far as 3G when connectivity is concerned. Bay Trail tablets will start shipping for $399 (approximately Rs 22,602) later this year.

The new Merrifield and Bay Trail Atom chips are based on the Silvermont architecture. According to Intel, the new architecture consumes 4.7 times less power than its predecessors. The chips are made using a 22nm process, with transistors that are stacked in a 3D structure instead of just being placed next to each other. The manufacturing process, called FinFET, gives a boost in performance and power efficiency. The new Bay Trail chips will also have compatibility with DirectX 11, which will give it quite an edge when it comes to gaming when coupled with support for Gen 7 graphics.

Intel seems to be hoping to finally be a match for the predominant ARM-based chips that are used in smartphones and tablets. Currently, rivals for its next-gen chips include Nvidia with its Tegra 4 and planned Tegra 5 chips, Samsung with the Exynos 5 Octa and Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 600 and 800.

Published Date: Jun 05, 2013 11:36 am | Updated Date: Jun 05, 2013 11:36 am