the price was a problem. Intel’s official Bay Trail-T prices range from $32 to $37, making the chips significantly more expensive than mid-range and low-end ARM parts. However, many vendors are said to be getting discounts and paying a bit less, in the $20 to $30 range.
Things may be about to change. According to Digitimes, Intel is planning to spend up to $1 billion on tablet chip subsides. The cash should sweeten the deal for vendors willing to give Intel SoCs a go. Since we are talking about relatively low average selling prices, Intel could use the cash to practically halve the prices and offer Bay Trail-T parts for as little as $10.
We're going to see a little experiment next year. The experiment is what is a better $1 billion investment? Intel's investment into the tablet market or Microsoft's same investment into bringing ARM into it's market. Part one of the test is over, part two is about to start. We'll see how many Intel tablet units get sold next year. Nenni get your spin-cycle ready.
The other shocking news out of the analyst meeting is that Intel will be releasing a low-end SoC with 3G baseband late in 2014 known as SoFIA. This SoC will integrate the company's low-end 3G modem with an Atom core and manufacture it using TSMC’s 28nm HPM process.
Wait, did you get that? Intel is using TSMC for low cost SoC manufacturing. Alrighty then……..