Revealed: Intel Corporation's Bold Mobile Roadmap

A recent leak spills the beans on Intel's mobile plans as of mid-2013.

May 29, 2014 at 10:15AM

Back in March, I penned a piece speculating that Intel's (NASDAQ:INTC) 14-nanometer CPU core codenamed Airmont would indeed hit smartphones, but only in low-end parts, leaving the mid-range and above to its successor, known as Goldmont. According to new information, it appears that Intel did indeed have big plans for Airmont in the smartphone space, and it was in fact targeted at low-cost, fully integrated (with apps processor and cellular/connectivity) devices. Brace yourselves -- while that speculation appears to have been confirmed, there's a lot more to take in. 

Intel's missing "6331" was known as Slayton; Riverton on 14-nanometer
Back at Intel's 2012 Investor Meeting, Intel's mobile GM Hermann Eul told investors to expect a part codenamed "6331," which would be a 22-nanmeter part with integrated cellular. Indeed, this part had a codename change to Slayton and integrated dual 1.2 GHz Silvermont CPU cores as well as an HSPA+ (3G) modem. The analog/RF portion was slated (no pun intended) to be built on a 65nm process, most likely as TSMC (NYSE:TSM)

The follow-on part, which was slated for a late 2015 introduction, was known as Riverton, which looked to integrate dual 1.6 GHz Airmont CPU cores, as well as a modem with support for HSPA+, LTE Category 3, and TD-SCDMA. The RF/connectivity chip that accompanied the platform would also be built on the 14-nanometer process (which would mark the very first 14nm FinFET RF silicon in the industry). A lower-end variant, known as Binghamton, would be 3G only, sport Airmont cores clocked at 1.2 GHz, and arrive in the first half of 2016.

In light of Intel's recent plans for SoFIA, it is unlikely either of these parts will see the light of day, although Riverton may be modified to include four Airmont cores and could still make it to market.

New details on "Broxton"
At Intel's most recent Investor Meeting, it talked about its next-generation product codenamed Broxton. This would be targeted toward high-end tablets and high-end smartphones, and offer "leadership" performance and power. According to this new information, the Goldmont CPU core inside of Broxton will come in a quad-core configuration, Gen. 9 Intel graphics, will not offer hyperthreading, and will offer support for LPDDR3, LPDDR4, and Wide IO 2 memory. On top of that, it will be offered in both soldered down memory formats or Package on Package format.

From the information given, it appears this will not include an integrated LTE modem, and will instead be paired with the company's next-generation XMM 7360 modem, which will again be built on TSMC's 28-nanometer process. Do keep in mind, however, that the features listed for 7260 on these materials seem outdated, and the current 7260 feature set appears to be reflected in the 7360 listed.

Intel's first FinFET modem -- the XMM 7460
The last bit of interesting news here is that Intel plans to bring to market a 14-nanometer modem in Q1 2016 known as the XMM 7460. This modem will support 3GPP release 12, category 7 LTE-Advanced, the suite of connectivity features, 3x Carrier Aggregation (60 MHz), and whole host of other goodies. This represents a fundamental shift, as this begins the move of all modem/connectivity volume internally, better driving utilization of its factories and taking that revenue away from TSMC. 

Foolish bottom line
It's interesting to see that Intel's mobile roadmap was indeed strong, but it seems execution problems (on both design and process technology) kept Intel from becoming the leader it had told investors it would become in mobile three years ago. However, with the roadmap it has in place now (Broxton in mid-2015, 14nm SoFIA in early 2016), it can still become one of the major players in mobile.

Intel has the right stuff to win, and has always had the right stuff to win, but it just needs to execute -- something I'm hopeful CEO Brian Krzanich and his team will pull off to deliver value for everybody holding Intel stock. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recent recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee their newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are even claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of these type of devices will be sold per year. But one small company makes this gadget possible. And their stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa owns shares of Intel. The Motley Fool recommends Intel. The Motley Fool owns shares of Intel. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers