Samsung chooses Intel CPU for new iPad-competing Android Galaxy Tab - report

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
With Intel largely absent from the current booming smartphone and tablet markets, the chipmaker has reportedly secured a deal with Samsung to power one of the company's upcoming 10-inch Android tablets.

At least one version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will run on Intel's Clover Trail+ mobile chip, Reuters reported this week, citing unnamed sources. The Galaxy Tab 10.1 series is a direct competitor to Apple's full-size 9.7-inch iPad, which has dominated the premium tablet market since it launched in 2010.

Galaxy
Samsung's 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 debuted in April. A new 10.1-inch model will reportedly feature an Intel CPU.


Samsung's decision to use an Intel chip for an Android device was portrayed as a "coup" for Intel in the report. Most smartphones and tablets currently sold, including Apple's iPhone and iPad, are powered by chips based on ARM reference designs.

Earlier this month, Intel's outgoing CEO Paul Otellini revealed that his company had the opportunity to provide chips for Apple's first iPhone, which kicked off the current smartphone revolution in 2007. But Intel ended up passing on a potential deal with Apple, and Otellini admitted that "the world would have been a lot different if we'd done it."

The rise of smartphones and tablets, which rely on low-power chips and offer strong battery life, has contributed to significant struggles in the PC market, where Intel's CPUs are most common. The latest data from IDC in April showed that traditional PC sales declined 13.9 percent year over year in the first quarter of 2013, marking the largest drop in the industry's history.

While PC sales plummet, sales of tablets ? led by Apple's iPad ? are surging. IDC predicts that tablet shipments will eclipse notebook PCs this year, and surpass all PCs by the year 2015.

Samsung's new Intel-powered Galaxy Tab 3 could be introduced at a company event in London scheduled for June 20. There the company has promised to show off new Galaxy products, as well as devices from its Windows lineup, branded as Ativ.

As Intel looks to get its foot in the door of the tablet market through Samsung, there have even been rumors for years that Intel could also partner with Apple and build its custom A-series chips for iPhone and iPad. Those claims cropped up again in March, when Reuters suggested that executives from both companies over the past year had discussed a possible partnership that would use Intel's foundries to manufacture Apple-designed chips.

Currently, all of Apple's custom A-series chips are built by Samsung, which is also its chief rival in the smartphone market. Speculation that Apple could partner with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has also persisted for years, but some reports have suggested that TSMC alone simply does not have the capacity to build enough chips for Apple.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 90
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member
    That's interesting. I'm sure the Samsung semiconductor head isn't happy to lose business to Intel. Intel must have made a compelling case.
  • Reply 2 of 90
    iqatedoiqatedo Posts: 1,538member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by malax View Post



    That's interesting. I'm sure the Samsung semiconductor head isn't happy to lose business to Intel. Intel must have made a compelling case.


    That's been my point too, that there will be divisions within Samsung that are more than happy to do business with Apple.

  • Reply 3 of 90
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 42,826member


    So what does this mean? Incompatibility with everything made before it?

  • Reply 4 of 90
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So what does this mean? Incompatibility with everything made before it?



    Yeah I don't get it. So Android will compile x86 and then emulate ARM for the apps?

  • Reply 5 of 90

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So what does this mean? Incompatibility with everything made before it?



    Exactly what I was thinking. Are there currently x86/x86_64 builds of Android? If not, I assume it's not a huge deal to do it, but then you have to get all the developers to recompile their apps for it. This just seems like a giant mess of work for ... what benefit? It would make more sense that it would be a Windows tablet rather than Android.

  • Reply 6 of 90
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member


    There's x86 builds of Android out there (including Jelly Bean) but they're not official. I'm guessing that Google have their own internal builds.


     


    App compatibility shouldn't be a problem as most third party apps already run in the Dalvik virtual machine.

  • Reply 7 of 90


    Samsung is churning to market a large variety of devices that most consumers, at large, don't want. So this would be consistent with that behavior. Or the article is incorrect and speaking about a Windows 8 product. The latter is more likely.

  • Reply 8 of 90
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,056member


    Hm, as was said before, running Android on an x86 architecture would be quite a surprise. I do not quite see Google porting Android to x86 at this point. Most of their tablet apps are scaled up phone apps already. Making it even more difficult does not make any sense.


     


    Could that be a "Surface" competitor running Chrome OS instead?

  • Reply 9 of 90
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Yeah I don't get it. So Android will compile x86 and then emulate ARM for the apps?



     


    Or, that Intel will produce an ARM chip

  • Reply 10 of 90
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 18,261member
    Acer apparently has an All-in-One coming out soon using Intel's Haswell and Android as the OS.
  • Reply 11 of 90

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post


    Exactly what I was thinking. Are there currently x86/x86_64 builds of Android? If not, I assume it's not a huge deal to do it, but then you have to get all the developers to recompile their apps for it. This just seems like a giant mess of work for ... what benefit? It would make more sense that it would be a Windows tablet rather than Android.



    Intel ported Jelly Bean to x86 last year.  Intel's plan to get ARM-compiled, non-Dalvik apps to work on x86 Android is to have the user download a version of the app that has undergone binary translation.


     


    http://www.anandtech.com/show/5770/lava-xolo-x900-review-the-first-intel-medfield-phone/3


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Or, that Intel will produce an ARM chip



    No, Intel won't be doing that. They sold off their ARM business long ago.


     


     



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by dreyfus2 View Post


    Hm, as was said before, running Android on an x86 architecture would be quite a surprise. I do not quite see Google porting Android to x86 at this point. Most of their tablet apps are scaled up phone apps already. Making it even more difficult does not make any sense.


     


    Could that be a "Surface" competitor running Chrome OS instead?




    Surprise?  How?  Google's been working on internal x86 builds since 2011 and Intel ported Jelly Bean last year which ran on the Lava Xolo X900 which used an Intel Medfield chip.

  • Reply 12 of 90
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RichL View Post


    There's x86 builds of Android out there (including Jelly Bean) but they're not official. I'm guessing that Google have their own internal builds.


     


    App compatibility shouldn't be a problem as most third party apps already run in the Dalvik virtual machine.



     


    Thanks. That makes sense. I never looked very closely at Android but if everything is running in a VM perhaps that explains some of the battery issues. I can't imagine that running in a VM would be as efficient as native code.


     


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Or, that Intel will produce an ARM chip



    Clover trail is an Atom I believe.

  • Reply 13 of 90
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member


    The motorola i had an intel cpu and ran android.

  • Reply 14 of 90

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    So what does this mean? Incompatibility with everything made before it?



    No, most apps, sans games, are Dalvik apps which will have no problem running on x86 Android. The issue is only for those things that use the NDK. That's what Intel's binary translation is for. You should definitely read: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5770/lava-xolo-x900-review-the-first-intel-medfield-phone/3

  • Reply 15 of 90
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,056member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheUnfetteredMind View Post


    Exactly what I was thinking. Are there currently x86/x86_64 builds of Android? If not, I assume it's not a huge deal to do it, but then you have to get all the developers to recompile their apps for it. This just seems like a giant mess of work for ... what benefit? It would make more sense that it would be a Windows tablet rather than Android.



    Ding!


     


    So samsung builds an x86 tablet that doesn't ship with a Win8 license... but potentially can be hacked on it later.   Sell a Device that boot Win8 (let the buyer beware of the issues of licensing), with no Windows tax up front...   


     


    in pharma we would call this off-label profits.  I don't think millions would be sold that way... but maybe 100,000's of thousands.  And if it works, then it's a 3rd party configurator who sells Win8/Surface on Samsung to the enterprise accounts who are still reading Gartner.


     


    But as I see it.  Intel needs to get volume to make it's chips cheaper... So it front sells the run rate discount to Samsung who can pack a production run easily... while pricing appears to undercut it's own semi-business, it also forcing Samsung tablet competitors who are 'committed' to ARM to pay more for a similar chip, and they then have to compete on the race to the bottom with the other Android tablets... lowering the threat against Samsung, as well as allow Samsung to focus on the key rivals who have entire tablet stacks under their control (MS and Apple, and a lesser degree Google).    feint, parry, thrust, touche'


     


    "...Clever Girl..."


     


    As for developers... moving to a Intel platform ensures that Samsung can start building a app store separate from google play for this box, and allows it to better control app quality for the experience (ala Apple).  If it's purely a conversion at first, they'll do it, and then compile native later (I'm sure Intel has a compiler for that as well;-).  

  • Reply 16 of 90


    Android app is basically java app, where does this application "compiling" issue come from?

  • Reply 17 of 90
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I see we've veered off to SamsungInsider again...
  • Reply 18 of 90

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by xuemingshen View Post


    Android app is basically java app, where does this application "compiling" issue come from?



    From when the app uses the NDK which is quite common for things like games.

  • Reply 19 of 90
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post


    Samsung is churning to market a large variety of devices that most consumers, at large, don't want. So this would be consistent with that behavior. Or the article is incorrect and speaking about a Windows 8 product. The latter is more likely.





    Yeah, consumers sure don't want their stuff, hell, just look at their last quarter profits....    er...   scratch that.

  • Reply 20 of 90
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post


    Yeah I don't get it. So Android will compile x86 and then emulate ARM for the apps?



     


    This is probably another Windows based tablet, Samsung has made them before, Samsung is even hinting at it with their upcoming 20th June announcement.

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