Intel, together with Rockchip who is one of a few prominent and up and coming chip makers in China, have announced today that they will be partnering together to produce a new line of processors meant for expanding in and targeting low end budget friendly tablets in the Asian markets where Rockchip is already established. The new embedded processors will be sold by Rockchip to it’s partners, and will be designed off of Intel’s own atom processors and will carry the Intel brand name. The partnership will help Intel expand into the Asian markets, and attempt to obtain a big piece of the pie in Android tablet marketshare in an area that is considered the fastest growing at the moment which is Android tablets that cost $150 and below. Currently Intel isn’t as widespread in the Android device space so striking this deal with Rockchip could help them become more widely used for mobile devices.
Alongside the partnership Intel also announced that they will be developing a third processor(quad-core)that will later be added to their lineup of SoFIA processors, which uses Intel’s own embedded modems on top of their Atom processor builds. We should see these chips start to hit the market sometime in 2015 according to Intel. Intel’s Chief Executive Brian Krzanich had this to say about the deal struck between both chip makers: “We are excited to work with Rockchip. With today’s announcement we’ve added yet another derivative to the Intel SoFIA family, and we expect to have them all in market before the middle of 2015, we are moving with velocity to grow Intel’s offerings for the growing global tablet market.”
Intel’s three SoFIA chip models will be targeted with different network compatibility and performance in mind, and will all also be shipping at different times from each other. The first chip that Intel expects to ship will be the dual-core 3G compatible processor which they expect to have shipped or begin shipping sometime by the fourth quarter of 2014. The new model they will be adding in partnership with Rockchip is of course quad-core as stated above and is expected to ship sometime in the first half of next year, and then there will be an LTE model of that chip that Intel plans to have ship the same time as the quad-core 3G model.