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Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview

Today at MWC 2015, Intel unveiled its upcoming Cherry Trail x5 and x7 SoC processors as well as full details on the Atom x3. Here's our preview.

@StevenBassiriTT
Published Mon, Mar 2 2015 8:26 AM CST   |   Updated Tue, Apr 7 2020 12:33 PM CDT

Introducing Intel's New Mobility Lineup

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 01 | TweakTown.com
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It wasn't too long ago since Intel announced its desire to enter the mobile market and compete with the likes of Qualcomm and Apple in the mobile market. However, it has been a while since that announcement and you still don't see many products with Intel inside when it comes to tablets and phones. According to Intel, that is about to change with their new Atom lineup. The two top series, the Atom x7 and Atom x5, will feature Intel's new Cherry Trail SOC (system on chip), which promises to deliver great performance at lower power. They are also introducing a new Atom x3, but instead of Cherry Trail, you get SoFIA.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 02 | TweakTown.com

Intel plans to branch out into many different product segments with their new Atom lineup including connectivity products for everything from LTE modems for phones and tablets to WIFI and NFC chips. They are not only focusing on SOCs as the workhorse of the device, but also trying to encompass device connectivity requirements as well with discrete ICs.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 03 | TweakTown.com

The Atom X7 would fit in right below CoreM which features Intel's new Broadwell microarchitecture. While the Atom x3 would have integrated connectivity, the x5 and x7 would require discrete ICs to handle connectivity such as an LTE modem for a broadband network connection. The price of the x3 would be so low that you would see it below the $75 mark. The x3 will also be segmented, and as you can see in the slide above, the top model will feature LTE, then 3G-R, and finally at the low-end you will see 3G.

Atom x3

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 04 | TweakTown.com

The x3 would be the first SOC to integrate the processor, its IO, and mobile connectivity into one package. This would greatly decrease the design and implementation costs of the product, and should provide a much smaller and more power efficient device.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 05 | TweakTown.com

The x3 will feature 64-bit support and be available for both Android and Windows based devices. Right now, Intel is working on Windows 10 Mobile support as well. NFC support seems to only come with the LTE (4G) version of the x3.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 06 | TweakTown.com

Here you can get a glimpse of the specs of the Atom x3. All the models support GSM/GPRS/EDGE and some sort of HSPA support. This means that the x3 should work around the world with full support for all four major GPS satellite constellations. All the x3 models support Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS. As I stated earlier, only the x3 with LTE will support NFC as well.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 07 | TweakTown.com

Here the new x3 (3G and 3G-R versions) is compared against MediaTek, Qualcomm, and Spreadtrum SOCs in media editing. Media editing refers to using you mobile device to do things to pictures such as add a HDR filter.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 08 | TweakTown.com

Here the x3 LTE version (4G) is compared against higher level competitors. If the projected performance pans out, this would be a huge leap forward in performance.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 09 | TweakTown.com

Intel has already partnered up with the companies above. The companies above have officially signed up to work with the x3.

Atom x5 and x7

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 10 | TweakTown.com

The x5 and x7 offer a bit more horsepower than the x3. They are also Intel's first 14nm SOC, hopefully paving the way for more powerful 14nm processors. This would mean Intel's 14nm node is doing well. They support operations which need more processing power such as RealSense and Pro WiDi. It was also pointed out that the x5 and x7 support Cat-6. Cat-6 refers to UE Category 6 which should deliver 300Mbps down and 50Mbps up on an LTE+ network.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 11 | TweakTown.com

Mobile gaming seems to have become more popular and SOC makers have taken note and are focusing more on graphics. Intel is promising much better 3D performance on OpenGL and DirectX games.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 12 | TweakTown.com

Intel is showing off some of its new technologies not necessarily limited to mobile, but which are fully supported by the new Atom x5 and x7 lineup. Having seen RealSense in person at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year, I can't wait for this technology to become more popular as my 3D printer is ready for real-life models. Pro WiDi looks to offer true seamless video streaming. True Key wants to offer a new way to login with multifactor authentication combining biometrics with traditional and unconventional verification to help end the days of different passwords for different login portals.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 13 | TweakTown.com

This is the list of x5 and x7 partners, including some of the biggest brands in the US.

A closer look at the chips

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 14 | TweakTown.com

This is Intel's XMM 7360 modem which would offer 450Mbps downloads with 3x carrier aggregation. This would be paired with an x5 or x7 as they don't have integrated modems.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 15 | TweakTown.com

These are some of Intel's new discrete ICs for mobile, which are integrated into the Atom x3-C3440, the XMM726x, and XMM 7360 modem shown above. Intel has a new dual-band AC 8x70 chip, which is their first 28nm combo chip with Bluetooth 4.0 and an FM receiver. Intel's Wireless GNSS 2x00 would support all four major GPS satellite constellations.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 16 | TweakTown.com

This is the block diagram for the x5 and x7 processors. I see support for LP-DDR3/DDR3L, I2C, USB, SD, eDP, DP and HDMI 1.4b, and PCIe. Power support would come through SVID and I2C for monitoring. USB 3.0 support is also included. This new SOC has a lot of technologies crammed into a small package, many of which we see today in notebooks.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 17 | TweakTown.com

The Atom x3 will come in three different package types to fit a wide variety of devices. Intel has done a great job of covering many different market segments with the x3, and it wouldn't be crazy to see a future where a good chunk of phones feature Intel inside.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 18 | TweakTown.com

This is a closer look at the Atom x3 C3230RK which features the low power 3G modem. This would be most likely found in a lower cost device.

Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview 19 | TweakTown.com

Intel's Atom x3-C3440 features LTE (4G) connectivity and a slew of other integrated features. I wouldn't be farfetched to see this SOC in your future phone. Intel has done a great job of revamping their Atom lineup to meet the demands of the mobile market. Their new portfolio is aimed to meet almost every market segment all the way from the Atom x3 in low-cost mobile devices to the x7 in devices like tablets. The Core M would replace anything with processing power needs above the Atom, and then the Core series takes over from there.

I look forward to seeing new devices with Cherry Trail and SoFIA hit the market, and I can't wait to see what will come of Intel's newest lineup.

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Steven went from a fledgling forum reader in 2003 to one of the internet's brightest tech stars by 2010. Armed with an information systems degree, a deep understanding of circuitry, and a passion for tech, Steven (handle Sin0822) enjoys sharing his deep knowledge with others. Steven details products down to the component level to highlight seldom explained, and often misunderstood architectures. Steven is also a highly decorated overclocker with several world records.

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