Intel's Atom Z2760 For Tablets - Great Chip, But Margins No Longer Safe

Ashraf Eassa profile picture
Ashraf Eassa

While I was pretty sure that there wouldn't be anything too exciting to write about when it came to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) until the earnings report on October 16th, it turns out that the launch of the latest Intel Atom Z2760 - a complete system on chip designed for tablets - is actually a big deal from an investment perspective.

The Atom Z2760 - A Competitive Entry

The main issue that investors have had with Intel over the last couple of years is that the company has not been a particular effective competitor in the low power space. Earlier this year, Intel threw its hat in the smartphone ring with its "Medfield" system-on-chip. It is a respectable product, able to compete quite nicely with the best that Qualcomm (QCOM) - the current leader in the ARM camp - has to offer in both performance and battery life. Intel still needs to bring out its dual core Atom Z2580 with LTE support if it is going to compete in the USA, but the first step seems to have been strong.

The next piece of the low power puzzle is the tablet space, and that's what the Atom Z2760 is for. According to numbers published by Intel (which should, of course, be verified with independent results when the devices launch), the dual core Atom Z2760 is faster in the popular SPECint benchmark than the Nvidia (NVDA) Tegra 3, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4, and the standard ARM Cortex A9 design clocked up to 1.8GHz. Further, Intel claims that power consumption is significantly better than the latest generation iPad, slightly worse than the iPad 2, and slightly better than the ASUS Transformer Pad Infinity.

Intel's competitive on the performance and power consumption side, and things will only get better with the next generation "ValleyView" system on chip - which should bring

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Ashraf Eassa profile picture
Hi there! I used to write articles here and elsewhere, but no longer do so. I have provided my Twitter handle and LinkedIn profile below.

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