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May 28, 2014

Intel partners with Rockchip to target entry level Android tablets

Intel is expecting to leverage Rockchip’s ability to produce low cost chips.

By CBR Staff Writer

Intel has partnered with Chinese chip manufacturer Fuzhou Rockchip Electronics, known as Rockchip, to manufacture chips for entry level Adroid tablets.

As part of the deal both the companies will be selling the Intel branded chips which will be targeting low end tablets as Intel is striving hard to sell more chips for smartphones and tablets.

Once dominant PC chip manufacturer, Intel has been struggling off late against its rivals like Arm Holding in smartphone and tablet chip market and the company has set a target of selling chips to 40 million tablets this year.

Rockchip currently manufactures inexpensive chips which cost even less than $100 and they are quite popular in China as well as other fast growing markets.

Through this move, Intel is expecting to leverage Rockchip’s ability to produce low cost chips as well as get access to its stronger relationship with Chinese manufactures.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will make an Intel-branded mobile SoC platform, which will be a quad-core platform based on its Atom processor core integrated with 3G modem technology.

The new quad-core SoFIA 3G chips will hit the market in the first half of 2015, primarily targeting at entry and value tablets.

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Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the strategic agreement with Rockchip is an example of Intel’s commitment to take pragmatic and different approaches to grow presence in the global mobile market by more quickly delivering a broader portfolio of Intel architecture and communications technology solutions.

"With today’s announcement we’ve added yet another derivative to the Intel SoFIA family, and we expect to have them all in market before the middle of 2015," Krzanich said.

"We are moving with velocity to grow Intel’s offerings for the growing global tablet market."

The Intel SoFIA family will be available in three different options, which include the dual-core 3G version expected to be available in the fourth quarter of this year, the quad-core 3G version that is expected to ship in the first half of 2015, and the LTE version, which will hit market in the first half of next year.

Rockchip CEO Min Li said, "We are always looking for innovative ways to differentiate our product portfolio, and the first-of-its-kind collaboration with Intel helps us do this."

"The combination of Intel’s leading architecture and modem technology with our leading mobile design capability brings greater choice to the growing global market for mobile devices in the entry and value segments."

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