Last month Intel revealed the details of its 7th generation Core family of processors, Skylake. At the IFA 2015 electronics exhibition in Germany yesterday Intel released this processor family to the public, and then let some information slip that raised a few eyebrows, ours included.
According to Engadget, Intel general manager Kirk Skaugen stated that the new Skylake processor will be used in mobile phones and – please don’t hurt me for using this word I’m quoting here – phablets. A super-fast chip that can scale itself to be powerful when you’re playing Injustice and toned down when you’re sending a text message sounds pretty cool, right?
The problem, however, is that Intel’s Core M (Intel’s mobile processor family) chips are not as popular as processors from Qualcomm or Mediatek. As a result Intel’s mobile division has floundered dramatically in recent years because of the power draw of its processors, their form factor and more importantly, their price. It’s because of this that earlier this year Intel changed its business model to shy away from the mobile processor market. So why are they now considering re-entering this market?
Surprisingly, the answer lies in software.
A new feature of Windows 10 called Continuum makes it possible to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse to a Windows-powered smartphone, and it adjusts settings like resolution, processor speed and power consumption on the fly when the phone is hooked up to these desktop peripherals. This would effectively turn your phone into a PC and make using it for work a lot easier, giving you added benefit of having all your work with you, all the time.
In this instance a scalable processor such as Intel’s Skylake would work wonders, but it requires manufacturers to actually use the processor. Mobile processor manufacturers Qualcomm and Mediatek already have longstanding agreements with smartphone manufacturers and their processors have proven to be both powerful and popular with users. As an example the new Acer gaming smartphone, the Predator 6, uses a deca-core processor from Mediatek rather than one from Intel’s Core M range of chips.
And the fact that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip is claiming to do the same job as the Skylake processor means Intel is in for a hard fight to regain its lost mobile market share.
We do like the idea of having a multi-purpose smartphone that can replace much of the electronics we carry around on a daily basis, but whether that smartphone will be powered by an Intel processor remains to be seen.
Ultimately, the final decision rests with the manufacturers, and this may just come down to a case of if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.[Source – Engadget] [Image by CC 2.0 – Jon Fingas]