The Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 will depart from the ARM-based processors that appear in virtually every Android device and instead employ an Intel chip. It’s been suggested that Samsung might switch things up, but two separate reports from reliable sources make this rumor more believable.

Reuters and Korea Times have both reported that the upcoming Samsung tablet will have the Clover Trail+ Intel x86 Atom-based processor. It’s not clear if all Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 units will have Intel inside – Samsung could opt to have its own chips or a Qualcomm processor in some markets – but at least one model will feature Clover Trail+ according to Reuters. Samsung may also be unable to rely solely on Clover Trail in the U.S., where devices tend to have a Samsung Exynos or Qualcomm Snapdragon processor because of carrier preferences. The Korea Times reports that Samsung is seeking better pricing on source materials, and quoted an unnamed Intel source who said:


“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 customize circuits for adaptation on Samsung products.”

Intel would greatly benefit from its inclusion in the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Intel’s chips have appeared in several handsets from Lenovo released in China and the Motorola RAZR i released in Europe and Latin America, but the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 would be the first time the leading Android manufacturer employed Intel in its tablets. Intel’s outgoing CEO admitted that the company was caught flat-footed for its failure to recognize the importance of mobile devices as quickly as competitors, so it needs major wins from companies like Sony in order to make its processors appear on more devices.

By Andrew Kameka