Intel and Rockchip Team Up to Make SoCs for Budget Android Tablets

The Chinese semiconductor fabricator had already made a name for itself with the numerous chips it created for affordable, yet great performing Android tablets, but the partnership with Intel will definitely take it to new heights.

The partnership represents a strategic move for both companies. First of all, Intel wants to get its chips in as many Android devices as possible, while Rockchip is able to put its mobile design experience to great use. The brainchild of this collaboration is represented by three derivatives to the Intel SoFIA family of chipsets. The new SoCs will be used to power low-cost Android tablets and maybe smartphones.

Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO, stated that “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. We are excited to work with Rockchip. With today’s announcement we’ve added yet another derivative to the Intel SoFIA family, and we expect to have them all in market before the middle of 2015. We are moving with velocity to grow Intel’s offerings for the growing global tablet market.”

Intel is definitely not cutting down the number of cores, despite the products using these being advertised as low-cost. On top of that, the inclusion of a 3G module on the chip will lead to a new age of Android tablets.

On the other hand, Min Li, Rockchip CEO, added that “We are always looking for innovative ways to differentiate our product portfolio, and the first-of-its-kind collaboration with Intel helps us do this. The combination of Intel’s leading architecture and modem technology with our leading mobile design capability brings greater choice to the growing global market for mobile devices in the entry and value segments.”

People seem to have mixed feelings about this news. Some claim that Rockchip and Intel are similar to cats and dogs who are now living together, probably suggesting that the two would be better off competing each other rather than collaborating. Others are convinced that Rockchip must have done a lot of lobbying to end up in such a partnership. Not at last, there are people who are anxious to see what low-cost SoCs Intel and Rockchip will reveal next year.

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