Intel is looking towards a future with ARM chip maker Rockchip as the company signals it is ready to move into the entry-level Android tablet market with power. Rockchip, a Chinese company focusing mainly on ARM chips, is a leader in low-cost offerings and Intel has already made it clear they want to look into the lower end of the tablet market for revenue streams.
The two companies announced that they would be partnering in an effort to deliver an Intel-branded mobile chip platform. The first result of this partnership is expected in the first half of next year and will be aimed at the low-cost Android market, company officials said.
It will be for devices that are based on Intel's Sofia, which has an integrated Atom processor and 3G modem.
The move seems outwardly odd for many observers, as Rockchip has already a strong presence in the lower end smartphone and tablet market with their chips, but this new deal aims to cement their footing in that arena, while also giving Intel a new boost to push forward on their goals.
Intel said it was not to be licensing any intellectual property in the deal.
"Designed specifically to expand the breadth of and accelerate the rate at which we bring our Intel architecture and communications solutions to more customers and segments of the global market for entry and value tablets," said Kari Aakre, an Intel spokeswoman.
Already, Intel has a number of plans in the work for the Sofia chip, including a duel-core variant series to be released next year.
More details on the agreement between the two companies will be released next month at the Computex show in Taipei, Taiwan.
It also comes as more large companies like Intel are looking for new places to put their efforts and one of those has been by partnering with smaller companies at lower costs in developing new ideas for new markets. This deal is likely to help spur growth for Intel as it expands by adding new and innovative chips for a myriad number of markets and products.
"The strategic agreement with Rockchip is an example of Intel's commitment to take pragmatic and different approaches to grow our presence in the global mobile market by more quickly delivering a broader portfolio of Intel architecture and communications technology solutions," said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO.