Intel Talks Next Generation Atom Processors Codenamed SoFIA and Broxton

Paul Lilly

Intel outlines a new strategy

It's no secret that Intel fell behind in the mobile race. Even though Intel is the largest semiconductor company in the world, most smartphones and tablets run on ARM hardware. Intel chief Brian Krzanich told analysts and investors at a meeting this week that he's "a little embarrassed" at how he and his company "seemed to have lost our way" in terms of its mobile portfolio.

"We're paying a price for that right now," Krzanich said, according to VR-Zone .

Though Intel might have lost its way, the chip maker isn't about to throw in the towel. Far from it, Intel is continuing with plans to increase its presence in the mobile sector, and perhaps even dominate the way it does on the desktop and server markets.

In order to do that, Intel feels it needs to boost mobile GPU performance by a factor of 15 and CPU performance by a factor of 5 by the end of 2015. That's where Broxton comes in. Boxton is a next generation Atom platform aimed at the performance segment and due to arrive in the middle of 2015.

One unique feature of Broxton is that it will have a "chassis" that can be replaced by an upgraded model whenever Intel introduces new features. Intel didn't explain exactly how this will work, but color us intrigued.

For the value segment, Intel is planning to launch SoFIA, an entry-level Atom platform that Intel is outsourcing so that it can arrive to market quicker. SoFIA will have a 3G baseband initially, and will be upgraded to LTE in 2015. And unlike its original plans to use ARM for SoFIA, Intel now says it will be a x86 chip.

SoFIA and Broxton will both be 64-bit parts built on a 14nm manufacturing process.

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