Samsung is putting an Intel chip in an Android Galaxy Tab. That's unusual.
A first for Samsung: an Intel chip in one of its Android tablets.
As reported by CNET US back on 20 May, Samsung is slated to unveil the next Intel-based Galaxy tablet at Computex, which starts 4 June. It will run Android 4.2.2 and sport a 1280x800 display.
What's odd is that Samsung is a chipmaking giant in its own right and considered an Intel rival in Android mobile devices. For example, its Exynos series of chips power the Galaxy smartphones and Galaxy tablets.
But it may have good reason to tap Intel technology.
"[Intel's] Clover Trail+ delivers competitive performance and battery life with Qualcomm and Nvidia ARM chips," said Nathan Brookwood, principal analyst at Insight 64.
"It's the first [version] of Atom that can support both Android and Windows 8. In the past, Intel's platforms for Windows 8 differed from their platforms for Android. So it would be possible for Samsung to build a Galaxy Tab that is physically the same hardware [as an Android product] and use it for a Windows 8 version," Brookwood said.
Here's another reason: Intel's upcoming Bay Trail chip — a complete redesign of the Atom micro-architecture — may be an even more attractive option for Samsung tablets and hybrids in the coming months.
Intel already supplies processors for Samsung PCs and its Ativ Windows 8 hybrids, which will most certainly be updated when Windows 8.1 and Bay Trail arrive.
A South Korean-based report on Thursday claimed that Intel and Samsung intend to "expand" their partnership.
"Intel Korea is hiring more chip developers ... the number of Intel's Atom-branded chip engineers increased to over 50 this year from last year's six in Korea. Most of them are working for Samsung-related projects with a mission to customise circuits for adaptation on Samsung products," the report in Korea Times said, quoting a source.
The Galaxy 10.1 Android tablet is expected to sport a dual-core 1.6GHz version of the Atom Clover Trail+. That chip uses a high-performance PowerVR SGX544 MP2 graphic processing unit from Imagination Technologies.
It's also possible that Samsung could come out with a Galaxy Tab based on its own Exynos chip or an ARM chip from Qualcomm or Nvidia.