Samsung's Galaxy Tab 3 to contain Intel Atom chip, source says

The upcoming product would be Samsung's first Android tablet to use an Intel chip, known as Clover Trail+

Samsung will soon release its first Android tablet based on an Intel Atom processor, according to a source familiar with the plan, in what would be a vote of confidence for Intel chips in mobile devices.

The tablet, a Galaxy Tab 3, will have a 10.1-inch display and run on a version of Intel's Atom chip known as Clover Trail+, the source said. Samsung hasn't announced such a product, but a Galaxy tablet running Android 4.2 appeared on several benchmark websites this month, sparking rumors of its existence.

According to the GFXBenchmark site, the tablet's display will have a screen resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

A Samsung spokeswoman declined to comment, saying the product hasn't been announced. No release data was available.

The Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will succeed the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1, which was based on a dual-core ARM processor. ARM-based chips are widely used in smartphones and tablets, areas where Intel has struggled to find a strong footing.

Late last month, Samsung announced a 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 that runs on a dual-core ARM processor with a clock speed of 1.2GHz. The 10.1-inch tablet will use Intel's Atom Z2560 chip, which has a clock speed of 1.6GHz, according to the source.

It would be a big design win for Intel, whose chips are used in 15 tablets, most of them running Windows 8, which has not been a big success. Intel has been working hard to reduce the power consumption and improve the performance of its Atom chips with the goal of making up some ground on ARM.

Clover Trail+ was designed primarily for smartphones and is used in products such as Lenovo's K900 phone, which started shipping in China this month. Later this year Intel is due to release new Atom chips for tablets, code-named Bay Trail, which should be faster and more power efficient than the current offerings.

Samsung also makes its own Exynos chips, which are based on ARM processor designs. The Exynos 5 dual-core and eight-core chips, based on ARM's Cortex-A15, are used in Samsung's Galaxy S4 smartphone, its Chromebook and the Nexus 10 tablet that it built with Google.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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