On March 2, 2015, during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, one of the announcements Intel made was to introduce the Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Series, Intel’s first integrated communication platform. Formerly code named “SoFIA”, Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Series is a low-cost SoC with 64-bit Intel Atom processor cores and integrated cellular baseband modem for smart or feature phones, phablets, and tablets. The SoC will be available in 4G LTE and 3G versions.
Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Series provides a foundation for full-featured and cost-effective platforms with fast and seamless mobile experiences which meet today’s consumers’ expectations.
This blog will go through the high level features of the Intel® Atom™ x3 platform, especially the features which mobile app developers are interested in.
Please note that the processor series has not been officially released yet, information discussed in this blog post is subject to change without notice.
The Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Series includes 3 versions (SKUs): the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3440 processor, the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor, and the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor.
Architectures and Specifications
The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3440 processor includes a 64-bit quad-core Intel® Atom™ CPU and an integrated 4G LTE 5-band modem. The upgraded video can provide 1080p HD playback. The Mali T720 MP2 GPU supports Opengl ES 3.0 and DirectX 9.3. Figure 1 shows the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3440 processor high level box diagram.
Figure 1 The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3440 processor high level block diagram
Besides the C3440 version which supports the 4G LTE technologies, the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor series also includes 2 SKUs which support 3G mobile technologies: the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor and the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor, which provide low-cost options with performance.
The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor features a 64-bit dual-core Intel® Atom™ CPU and an integrated 3G modem. Figure 2 shows its high level box diagram.
Figure 2 The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor features a dual-core Intel Atom CPU and an integrated 3G modem.
The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor, a collaboration between Intel and Rockchip*, includes a quad-core 64-bit Intel® Atom™ CPU and an integrated 3G modem. Figure 3 describes this SKU’s high level architecture.
Figure 3 The Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor includes a quad-core Intel Atom CPU and an integrated 3G modem. During Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China on April 8, 2015, Intel and Rockchip* announced devices based on the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor are expected in market later in Q2, 2015
On the graphics side, the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3130 processor includes a Mali* 400MP2 GPU, and the Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK processor includes a Mali* 450 MP4 GPU. Both processors support up to OpenGL ES 2.0.
As a summary, Figure 4 shows a comparison table for the 3 Intel® Atom™ x3 processor SKUs.
Figure 4 A comparison of the Intel® Atom™ x3 processor SKUs
High Performance SoC integration for great mobile user experiences
The Intel Atom x3 processor series features 64-bit Intel Atom quad-core or dual-core IA processors at up to 1.4GHz Bust Mode, a fast 4G LTE or 3G integrated cellular baseband modem, HD video and quality audio, GPU, and the ISP module. The ISP supports dual cameras, including an up to 5MP front facing camera and up to 13MP rear-facing camera.
Low-power RF and low-power video encoding / decoding result in a long battery life.
Fast 4G LTE and 3G communications
4G LTE and 3G Intel modems are interoperable with mobile network operators around the globe and support world-wide roaming. In the 4G LTE SKU, up to 14 LTE bands can be supported with the 5-mode LTE modem (2G, 3G, 4G LTE, FDD/TDD, and TD-SCDMA).
The Intel Atom x3 processor series supports a full range of connectivity capabilities which will keep the user always connected: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS and GNSS. These capabilities enable various mobile use cases, from networking to location-based services.
Impressive graphics and audio
The GPU provides clear and responsive graphics for games, including supports for OpenGL ES 2.0 (the C3130 and C3230RK SKUs) and 3.0 (the C3440 SKU). The platform supports high quality audio HD video media playback and Miracast-based wireless display.
The dual SIM capability enables mobile subscriptions from 2 different service providers / carriers. As an option on the C3440 SKU, Near Field Communication (NFC) supports streamlined and secure tap-and-pay transactions.
In the above discussion, we can see the Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Series integrates high performance Intel® Atom™ CPU cores and a fast communication modem on a single SoC silicon. It provides a quality foundation for entry and value tablets, phablets, and smartphones affordable for consumers around the world.
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