For a long time, it was thought that Intel wasn't ever going to enter the smartphone market with their chips. They would announce a new chip at a press event every so often but, there was never an actual phone release to follow it up. Last year changed all that and Intel managed to not only ship Atom chips for use in smartphones but, they had partners dotted around the globe to use them in their smartphones. It wasn't exactly a stellar success for Intel on the mobile side of things but, it was at least a start. The one thing that Intel needs now, in order to break into the market, is more partners to jump on board.
The Chinese manufacturer, ZTE shipped the Grand X IN in Europe last year, packing a 1.6 Ghz Z2460 Atom inside of it. ZTE was clearly impressed with Intel's chips as they've announced today that they've partnered with Chipzilla once again, to manufacture devices with Intel's next-generation of mobile chips, based on the Clover Trail architecture. There's no word yet on just what types of phones ZTE could ship with new chips from Intel just yet. It seems a little strange for a company like ZTE to partner with Intel, after all they're a big Chinese brand and they're plenty of Chinese manufacturers that would be more than happy to sell them ARM-based chips. Regardless, this is the sort of progress Intel needs to become a big player in the smartphone market.
The chip in question is Intel's Atom Z2580 which was announced at Mobile World Congress, and boy is it one hell of a chip. It might just be a dual-core CPU but, it'll run up to speeds of 2.0 Ghz and it features Intel's hyper-threading technology. Giving each core a second processing thread when it needs it. The Z2580 is certainly an improvement over last year's Z2460, with twice the computational capabilities of the previous chip and three times the graphics performance to boot. Power consumption is kept to level's typical to that of a smartphone and with the added graphics performance, it should be able to push higher-resolution displays without a hitch. It's great to see another OEM get on board with Intel but, they'll have to get bigger partners than ZTE onboard if they hope to break into the market on a larger scale any time soon.