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Intel Details 64-bit Atom “Moorefield” Processor Line for Android Devices, Launches H2 of 2014

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Over in Barcelona at MWC, companies are staying mighty busy this week. Intel, staying relevant in the mobile processor game, detailed the upcoming quad-core 64-bit Atom Moorefield line of chips, made specifically to power Android devices. According to Intel, the Moorefield line should launch in the second half of 2014, and OEM partners include Lenovo and ASUS. 

Moorefield, based on the new Merrifield processor feature set, brings two additional architecture cores for up to 2.3GHz of computing performance, an enhanced GPU, and support for faster memory read and write.

In a statement, an Intel rep spoke on Intel’s move to mobile 64-bit computing.

64 bit computing is moving from the desktop to the mobile device. Intel knows 64-bit computing, and we’re the only company shipping 64-bit processors for mobile devices today capable of supporting both Android and Microsoft Windows.

We have only seen a handful of Android devices launch with Intel chips, none of them quite noteworthy, but Intel has a strong heritage in computing, so we shall remain hopeful that Moorefield is a beast.

Via: TheNextWeb
  • WestFiasco

    Moorehead rides again

  • Josh

    Will it finally get rid of proprietary GPUs? On the Linux side of things, Intel has been great with supporting their in-house chips with open source drivers. The proprietary PowerVR GPU they’ve been using on Atoms are its main weakness when it comes to long term Linux support.

    The same thing applies to ARM and Linux where all the closed off never updated drivers on ARM SoCs are the main reason why they can’t support new Linux kernels and Android versions.

    • snickerdoodle

      This is my main reason why I’m rooting for Intel in the mobile space. If they can make a competitive SoC to ARM and continue to provide their excellent long term supported open source drivers for the Linux kernel then I’d rather have an Intel powered phone. Even when the OEM has dropped support for it, it’ll be a whole lot easier to install future Android or even any Linux based OS on it than something with an ARM chip.

  • Droid Ronin

    Only phone that I’m familiar with is the Orange San Diego.

  • Daistaar

    I don’t know if this is really targeting Android. I wonder if Intel isn’t trying to get in bed with Lenovo and Microsoft for new Windows Mobile devices. Not a lot of competition in that space and Intel can do what Qualcomm has with Android. Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola, powered by Intel Atom running Windows 8.1 Mobile. How’s that for a guess? LOL

  • bionicwaffle

    Intel, wake up. We don’t need a x86 processor for Android. We don’t even need a 64-bit processor for Android. We definitely don’t care if the processor in our Android device can run Windows or Windows applications. Remember, when you made the best mobile processors out there? Well, your new mobile processor needs to be MIPS based like your good old XScale was. We don’t need another Cius or a Moto i.

    • Mason

      Yes. Sigh. Of course we need Intel. We want constant competition in the mobile SoC market. We also want 64-bit. No one is suggesting that Android will run Windows…

      • bionicwaffle

        Yes, competition is good. An x86 based processor isn’t competition. Nobody has a need for a 64-bit processor on Android now. Sure, we’ll need them once we need 4GB or more of RAM but that isn’t now and maybe not even next year, especially considering Google is starting to re-optimize Android and reduce memory usage starting with KitKat. Intel was pointing out the fact that it runs Windows as if it’s a selling point. I would argue it’s completely irrelevant. Combo Android/Windows devices haven’t exactly sold like hotcakes. I think this processor could make a better one but the demand just isn’t there.

        I want Intel to continue to make excellent desktop, laptop, and server CPUs. I’d love to see them make great CPUs for mobile devices again, like they did with the MIPS based XScale processors, but this processor will probably be a flop, not a good, let alone competitive, processor. Go ahead Intel, prove me wrong but it looks to me like execs said “just make a mobile processor that we can market” and they’re rushing.

        • Mason

          Yes, a low-power, mobile x86 SoC is certainly competition.

          Yes, we do need a 64bit processor. 64bit brings a lot more than just being able to address greater than 4GB. Don’t be a Luddite. 64bit is a natural progession. You don’t run a 32bit laptop, do you?

          Intel is *not* marketing *these* processors as combo Android/Windows devices.

          And… MIPS is dead. Accept it.

          • bionicwaffle

            Opps, you’re right, ARM is what I meant, not MIPS. Yes, MIPS is deal. Before I had ARM based processors, as nearly all Android devices do now, we had MIPS and SH3/4. Anyway, yes, dead. Every place I said MIPS I meant to say ARM.

            The problem is that everything for Android is compiled and optimized for ARM. There are definitely optimization issues with x86 Android devices and sometimes compatibility issues as well.

            The most significant change with 64-bit is the ability to address more memory. That’s not a practical benefit at this time. Yes, it’s natural progression but it will come with some compatibility issues as well, just as the iPhone 5S had some reboot and app crash issues initially. It will come, but there is no need to rush it and it’s not a reason to buy now.

            Not fighting with you on MIPS. Again, I meant to say ARM. Intel used to make ARM processors. I’m saying they would have a much better chance of competing if they started to again. Their StrongARM and then XScale processors were the best of their time. That’s why MIPS, SH3, and SH4 all died.

          • Mark

            By the time Intel makes a competitive ARM chip, Android will be (which is very far along already) optimized for x86. Also, the Linux kernel that Android runs on top of is mainly written for x86 with specific optimizations when compiled for x86-64. ARM is a second class architecture when it comes to the Linux kernel. Linux + ARM = a pain. ARM vendors don’t have much standardization and hardly provide open source drivers. Their closed drivers are hardly updated which forces you to use old Linux kernels and, by extension, older Android versions.

            More RAM is always better for caching purposes even if no single app or a few large simultaneous apps/background services can make use of it all. You’re just proposing to not advance technology here. 64-bit is just a natural step. Waiting to implement it only when people are bottlenecked by memory is just wrong. In addition to the usual bugs you talk about (it’ll happen no matter when 64-bit starts getting implemented), there will also be people experiencing bad performance because they’re stuck on 32-bit.

    • Alan Paone

      Didn’t the razr i have better battery life than the razr m? Intel doesn’t need to change anything but the pitchmen who get them the design wins. 64 bit is going to matter a lot – There’s already token apps that use it on iOS, do you want android to be left behind?

  • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

    2H Of 2014? After all High-End Devices are out? I don’t see Samsung Stuffing this into the Note 4 or LG…so who’s going to be using this? Is Intel selling to themselves?

    • hero

      I agree with your post but I read this on phonearena and wanted to share…

      “In addition to unveiling the two Atom processors, Intel announced that it signed new multi-year agreements with Lenovo, Asus, Dell and Foxconn. Asus and Lenovo will launch both smartphones and tablets based on Atom processors this year. Dell will introduce Android and Windows tablets, while Foxconn is releasing only tablets running Android.”

      so maybe Asus and Lenovo but perhaps it’s the multi-year agreements they were after

    • j

      2H release 2014, in to phones for 1H 2015. What is the question.. obviously they are not planning to get this into devices released before the very very end of 2014.

    • j

      And the story above says Asus and Lenovo (Motorola) will use it.

      • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

        Irrelevant, irrelevant, irrelevant. There are only a few OEMs that matter in the mobile space and none of the above do.

        • hero

          what about non-US markets? I’m only saying because I have no idea what things look like overseas

        • Garrett

          Asus made the N7

        • Nikuliai

          Lenovo is in the fourth position of the android smartphone sales on Q4 2013… second if you sum up the sales from Motorola
          Asus works on the Nexus program

          soo irrelevant ;) the world ain’t just the US you know?

        • j

          Realize the world is larger than the U.S. and these are FOREIGN brands.

          • Good_Ole_Pinocchio

            Lool. Top mobile brands are Samsung. HTC. LG. What’s your definition of “foreign brands”?

  • The Narrator

    C’mon Qualcomm, I know you’re nearby!

    • rals

      Exactly, I would take that any day over Intel. We know how well apps respond with an Intel chip