updated 07:52 am EDT, Mon March 18, 2013
Asus to add second Intel Atom-powered device by June
Asus is set to launch an Intel Atom-powered smartphone, joining Lenovo and Motorola who have both also experimented with Intel's Clovertrail x86-based chips in their devices. The smartphone will be the second mobile device from Asus in recent times that has adopted an Intel chip, following the debut of the 7-inch Asus Fonepad at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. According to Digitimes, the earliest the new Asus smartphone will arrive is in the month of June.
Further details to emerge from the upstream Taiwanese supply chain also point to the Asus Intel-powered smartphone centering on either a 5-inch or 5.5-inch display. If accurate, this would make the new Asus smartphone similar to the Lenovo K900, which similarly adopts a dual-core Atom chip clocked at 2GHz features a 5.5-inch 1080p display. In our hands-on with the K900 at CES earlier this year, we found it to be unwieldy, but appreciated its slim 6.9mm profile.
The Intel Clovertrail+ chip is built on Intel's 32nm High-k/metal gate process and features hyperthreading for the ability to process four instruction sets simultaneously. Its SoC integrates an Imagination (a part Apple-owned company) PowerVR SGX 544 GPU which is the same GPU family Samsung has adopted for its Galaxy S 4. However, the Intel chip only uses a dual-core version of the GPU, whereas Samsung utilizes a triple core configuration, similar to the Apple A6 processor powering the iPhone 5.
The Asus Intel-powered smartphone will run a version of Android 4.2.2 'Jelly Bean,' that has been compiled to run on Intel's x86 architecture, but which should remain compatible with most standard Android apps.