In April 2012, Intel’s first plausible smartphone, the Xolo X900, was officially launched. It was a solid initial effort for Intel to enter the mobile market. More importantly, the Intel Medfield SoC that powered the Xolo x900 was meant to be a pioneer, a harbinger, a sign of things to come. Over four years and $10 billion later, Intel failed to gain traction in the mobile industry and there was no sign of gaining ground in the long term. So in 2016, the tech giant quietly confirmed that it has axed several chips from its roadmap, including all of the smartphone processors in its current plans.
How Intel lost its ground so quickly and thoroughly is still yet to be discussed. As a popular processor provider in desktop and server markets, Intel boasts about its highly advanced technology and product performance. But on the Android platform, things are a little bit different.
On Android platform, Intel x86’s biggest rival is ARM. For years, ARM has focused on low power consumption and simple instruction set. Intel, for its part, has mainly produced processors aimed at high performance and high throughput environments, so there is a common notion that Intel’s x86 chipset features higher performance but lower battery life in comparison to ARM.
But this was no longer the case after Intel embraced the mobile/low power market with the Intel Atom series. Intel Atom processors probably use the least energy among most other processors. The processor itself is a success: It’s affordable, consumes very little power, and its performance stands out among its competitors due to x86’s performance-oriented architecture.
Despite of its efforts to catch up, however, Intel’s Atom was only struggling to catch up before Intel decided to cut Atom chips, basically giving up on the mobile market. But now the Intel Empire strikes back into the smartphone market with a brand new strategy.
And that is merchant foundry business. Intel still owns the most technologically advanced foundries in the world. But unlike other foundries, Intel designs and builds both its fabrication plants and its microprocessors. Until recently, Intel basically took no foundry customers. But Intel’s recent attempt to break into the merchant foundry business by attracting a handful of high-quality customers was a successful initiative.
In Mobile World Congress 2017, Intel collaborates with Spreadtrum to introduce a new mobile SoC – SC9853i. Built on Intel’s 14nm foundry platform, Spreadtrum SC9853i is targeting the global mid and high-level smartphone market. It features 1.8GHz Octa-core 64-bit Intel Airmont architecture based processor, which enables SC9853i to offer a high-performance mobile computing ability coupled with ultra-low power consumption.
With SC9853i SoC, it is obvious that Intel and Spreadtrum plan to hit Mediatek and Qualcomm in the mid and high-end market. With the backup of Intel’s latest chipset technology, it is perhaps the best time for Spreadtrum to surpass Mediatek and gain a solid foothold in the mid-range and high-level phone market. If so, Intel Empire will definitely strike back into the phone market and drive its mobile platform business forward with much more momentum.
Leagoo T5c is the world’s first device to come with Spreadtrum SC9853i SoC inside. The company hosts the global reservation of T5c and you have the chance to get a $30 coupon to get it in the ongoing campaign.