Featured: Intel to Move Atom to 14nm in 2014

Intel has promised for years that it would enter the mobile market with Android, and it wasn't until this year that they are finally pulling it off. Even if this is Intel, they have a huge mountain to climb in the market against ARM, which is in something like 98% of the mobile devices.

Even worse for Intel, while Atom has been higher performance over the past few years, with Intel only having to worry about lowering power consumption and cost (which they might not lower anyway), 2012 is the year when ARM chips might even surpass Intel Atom's performance thanks to chips like the upcoming Samsung Exynos 5250 (based on Cortex A15), Qualcomm S4, and even the quad core Tegra 3. All while still being significantly more energy efficient and costing less than an Intel Atom.

Intel says that the Atom Z series will be the first to transition to the 14nm manufacturing node in 2014, which would give it a slight advantage in manufacturing over ARM chips, but I still doubt it will be enough to off-set the fact that a Z series Atom costs like $100 as a component, which is around 3x more than the highest-end ARM chip, and will probably still be less energy efficient by then, especially if it wants to keep pace with the ARM chips in performance, which so far have evolved a lot faster than a 2x improvement every 1.5-2 years, which is usually how much x86 improve over that period of time.

Intel Atoms will still have a marketing problem going forward, because it will lack a lot of things that ARM-based devices will have, including a good GPU, "retina" resolutions, and my guess is it will still be beaten in benchmarks when it arrives on the market, and it's tested on a real product, rather than just seeing Intel's own benchmarks.

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Lucian Armasu

Senior Writer
Lucian is passionate about writing about different technologies, talking about their potential, and predicting tech trends. Visit his <a href="http://techdomino.com/news">technology news</a> website at <a href="http://techdomino.com/">TechDomino.com</a>.
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