Eight-core x86 Atom chips for smartphones to release in H2 2017
Intel has stopped making Atom processors, but that doesn't mean that the Atom processor has been stopped. Chinese chip-maker Spreadtrum is still making Atom chips based on the Airmont architecture, and has revealed plans to ship an octo-core Atom chip for handsets in the second half of this year. The chip is likely somewhere between the quad-core Atom chips, such as the x5 and x7, and the 16-core server-focused Atoms in terms of processing power.
The chip is known as the Spreadtrum SC9861G-IA and is aimed at mid-range phones. It's PowerVR GT72000 graphics chip can support 4K video and resolutions up to 2560 x 1440. The most exciting part of the chip's existence for myself and many other tech-enthusiasts is what the existence of a low-voltage octo-core x86 chip means for future Windows handsets. Though Windows is already able to run on the Snapdragon 835 through x86 emulation, running natively on a true x86 chip would be even better for a Windows phone. The second half of this year should be an exciting time for handset releases.