Inside Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3, an Intel chip

Inside Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3, an Intel chip

Summary: It's a big win for the semiconductor company, which has lagged in the mobile race.


After years of watching Qualcomm, ARM and Apple eat its lunch, Intel is regaining ground in the mobile technology segment.

The U.S. company announced this morning that its Atom Z2560 processor (and XMM 6262 3G and XMM 7160 4G LTE modems) will be in Samsung's new 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 3 tablet.

That's a big win for the company, which for years crushed the competition in desktop and laptop computing but was caught by surprise when mobile phones suddenly evolved into the smartphones and tablet computers that dominate the consumer electronics industry today.

Samsung has said that it intends for the Galaxy Tab 3 to be the leading tablet on the market; though my CNET colleagues aren't convinced of Samsung's straetgy, it still means that Intel nabbed a critical spot in a high-profile device that sold more than a million units since its launch in late 2010 and still aims to cut into Apple's leading market share with its iPad.

In short, Intel and Samsung deeply need each other: the former needs to gain traction in the growing tablet market that it knows is displacing its traditional desktop-laptop revenue stream; the latter needs to catch up to Apple in the tablet market the same way it has in the smartphones segment.

Sterne Agee analyst Vijay Rakesh hinted at this in his recent report on Intel.

"[Intel] is definitely increasing its focus on tablets and handsets and had a positive 32nm Clovertrail win into Samsung 10" Galaxy Tabs," he wrote. As for the chip's successor technology, code-named "Bay Trail" and expected next year, it will give Intel "a foundation to narrow some of the power gap with ARM."

With the tablet market expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 35 percent—that means 300 million to 400 million tablets expected to be shipped by 2017—there is lots of runway for Intel to mount a strong challenge to its chip-making rivals. Placement in the Galaxy Tab 3 is an early step.

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Intel, Samsung, Tablets

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • I suppose this could work

    but only if the battery life is decent. Android would require less power than full windows 8. Might help with speeding up web browsing, vs ARM, but gaming would probably be mediocre.
    Thanks to Android's Dalvik VM and OpenGLES, applications and games should run seamlessly, regardless of ARM, or Intel, or even MIPS.
  • This would put me off

    I'd prefer to see Qualcomm, Nvidia etc... onboard. Hopefully the 8" model doesn't do this.
  • Google's move to Android 4 helped Intel big way

    Since Android 4 Google recommends against native compilation and only supports pre-compiled Java byte-code, which could be run on either ARM or Intel or whatever else CPU to which Android OS itself is compiled to.

    Software is times slower than natively compiled code in many cases, but portability and CPU independence is the prize. Even among ARM architecture CPUs there is significant difference which makes optimizations for each variant super painful, so use of pre-compiled Java byte-code, even though being so much slower, is overall provides much more consistent result.
  • If Samsung wants to lead then Samsung can't be another missing Start Button

    Make sure the tablet has a micro usb besides a proprietary port for docking. Along with all the other options people want. Not what Samsung wants. Micro or full HDMI, micro or full SD slot, near-field, IR transmitter, blah blah blah. Ect. For once Samsung should just put it all in the device. That way there's nothing to complain about, so people don't still end up buying another tablet because Samsung is still missing something. Oh or maybe working with Google to get updates just as fast as nexus product lines do. There a though. Wait Wait! That makes way to much sense. .... ... wow that's just crazy talk.
  • Leading Tablet? Really?

    I don't see much differences, other than hardware buttons and SD card support, over the first generation Galaxy Tab 10.1. Perhaps, I'm missing something.
  • 32nm?

    Is that a typo? Shouldn't it be 23nm? I thought that was the new chip die standard now.
  • "a foundation to narrow some of the power gap with ARM."

    /Is/ there a power gap with ARM? How much, if at all, will Intel's new generation of Atoms lag ARM?
    x I'm tc
  • the swotch to x86 will be better if...

    Google intends to continue pushing java based apps. X86 is roughly 2.5-3 x faster then an arm running at the same frequency. As far as gaming... well that's always been a gpu issue, even in tablets. Pair this new atom with a decent gpu and it should be fantastic.
    • Your assessment is flawed...

      X86 is simply an instruction set., and in fact is CISC. It has nothing to do with the actual speed. This is determined by the clock speed, microarchitecture and process node. Intel may have an CPU performance advantage, but total system performance and especially cost are what will determine the winner in the end.
  • Whats new To the Tablet ?

    1 multi screen
    2 processing speed
    3 price

    Got some cases for my pre ordered 8 inches
    GalaxyTab Case
  • Samsung Tab 3 7-Inch

    in amazon $169.99 & FREE Shipping
    Khadir Ahmed