The Atom line of CPUs from Intel is poised to welcome a new member early next year, although this won't exactly be its major step on the smartphone front, despite its repeated statements that it was working on something of the sort.
Intel may not take pains towards leaking information on its products ahead of time, but whether it likes it or not, rumors and reports emerge anyway.
The latest of its product lines to fall under the watchful gaze of market watchers is the Atom CPU series.
Apparently, the Santa Clara, California-based chip maker intends to unleash a new processor in January, 2012.
One might expect this to be the fabled smartphone chip that Intel has been saying it will eventually bring forth.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, since the unit is actually intended for digital signage, in-vehicle systems, fitness equipment and retail.
Then again, the newcomer will support the Android 2.3 operating system, otherwise known as Gingerbread.
Considering this, one might very well say that the Atom E6xx, as the unit is known at the moment, might be a step towards achieving the goal of smartphone support.
Intel has been saying that it wants to offer smartphone x86 processors for quite a while now, about as long as ARM has been meaning to make chips powerful enough to challenge Intel on the PC front.
The competition didn't actually spark for real until the tablet appeared and NVIDIA built the Tegra 2 SoC (system-on-chip).
The Qualcomm Snapdragon has also acted as a driving force in ARM's slow but sure push into the field of larger electronics, so Intel has a bigger reason than ever to push its own projects forward faster.
Time will tell whether or not the IT giant succeeds in making the push on the smartphone front in time.