Intel set to triple phones speeds with new Silvermont chips

Intel has announced a new processor technology called Silvermont that could triple the speed of your smart phone or tablet.

More phones and tablets are set to get Intel inside. The chipbuilder has announced a new technology called Silvermont that promises to triple the speed of your smart phone or tablet.

The new Silvermont microarchitecture is an update to Intel's Atom mobile processors, intended to challenge rival Qualcomm's dominance of the smart phone and tablet market. It'll appear in Intel's planned Merrifield chips for phones, Bay Trail chips for tablets, and Avoton for microservers.

"We have not only reduced the power in a significant manner, but it comes with significant performance," says Intel. Five times lower power consumption than current chips, Intel claims, with up to three times better computing performance.

And tablets could double in speed as Silvermont appears in Intel's forthcoming 22-nanometre Bay Trail chips.

Silvermont will also do the thinking for in-car entertainment systems.

Intel has struggled to get its processor into smart phones and tablets, despite powering most PCs and laptops. Atom chips were originally designed for netbooks and improved for mobile devices, but we can still count the number of Intel-powered phones on a very small number of hands: the Motorola Razr i, for example, or the Orange San Diego.

Most phones and tablets are powered by chipsets, built by the likes of Qualcomm and Nvidia, that are based on technology developed by ARM. It's the difference between ARM-based mobile devices and Intel-powered full-sized computers that means you have a different version of Windows 8 on the Microsoft Surface ARM-based tablet compared to your computer. If you want full-fat Windows 8 on a tablet, you have to splash out for the Surface Pro slate.

Speaking of Intel, the company is also reported to be working with Apple on the heavily-rumoured iWatch smart watch. Check out the latest rumours in our watchful video:


Do phones need to get faster, or are they powerful enough already? Should phones and tablets focus on better battery life or other features rather than increasing speed? Process your thoughts in the comments or chip in on our Facebook page.


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