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Intel's new Cherry Trail x5, x7 and x3 Atom SoC Lineup Preview (Page 1)

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.

By Steven Bassiri from Mar 2, 2015 @ 8:26 CST

Introducing Intel's New Mobility Lineup


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 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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Atom x5 and x7


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.


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 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.


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

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