Now Intel owns 3DLabs and they may be making better mobiles with them

Subject: General Tech, Mobile | November 20, 2012 - 01:47 PM |
Tagged: Intel, Creative, SoC, ziilabs

Ziilabs might not be a name you recognize now, but it is one you were likely familiar with at one time.  That is the current name of 3DLabs which was purchased by Creative back in 2002 and is now responsible for SoC development at Creative, especially integrating the StemCell media processor into the ARM chips which make the basis of the mobile processors.  Intel paid $30 million for physical resources and assets along with $20 million for patents, giving them the ability to move from their current solution for Atom processors, PowerVR to the StemCell architecture.  Could it be possible that with a stronger Atom that Intel might be able to power more cell phones and take a larger share of that market as well?  Check out more at The Inquirer.

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"CHIPMAKER Intel will license patents from Ziilabs and purchase assets from the UK based chip designer.

Ziilabs is a UK based subsidiary of Creative Technology focusing on system on chip (SoC) designs for smartphones and tablets. While the firm has yet to register on the public conciousness, it clearly has been on Intel's radar for a while and announced a $50m asset sale and patent licensing deal."

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Source: The Inquirer

November 20, 2012 | 06:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Unless the laws of physics have changed, The Intel processors, with more transistors on them, are going to use more energy than an ARM processor, with less transistors on them, For processors that use the same transistor fabrication size and design! With medfield Atom Intel did reduce power usage, at idle, with new power gating tech.,
But if the power usage of the Atom is compared to the ARM at full load [and I mean load of the CPU and not the other components that make up a mobile device] the ARM with less transistors will use less power! As far as the moving from the PowerVR IP to the 3DLabs IP, on the GPU side of the equation that may or may not help Intel! Now currently, Intel has a process lead for smaller circuit size and Try-gate design, but when ARM based designs catch up in process Tech., then Less transistors are going the be more of an advantage on the CPU side of the energy equation! Where Intel is going to have to be creative, is on the software side, drivers and such! I would like to read more on the powerVR tech. vurses the 3Dlabs tech. But Intel still has a hard road ahead trying to compete with ARM in the LOW power device market! Intel will have to do with much less of a profit margin to compete with the low cost ARM competition, and I do not see Intel allowing the same licensing and customazitions that device makers can get with ARM! The newer ARM based designs are comeing, and Apple will probably be spending part of their Huge war chest of money on some really great custom ARM designs, and AMD is also going to make an ARM based APU, and Intel will have to have some creative GPU IP to compete with AMD on the graphics side!

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