What Game Developers Need to Know about Intel® Atom™ x3 SoC Processor Series

By Miao Wei, Published: 03/24/2016, Last Updated: 03/24/2016




In January 2015, Intel announced the Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Family (Code-Named “SoFIA”), a low-cost SoC with 64-bit Intel Atom processor cores and integrated cellular baseband modem for smart or feature phones, phablets, and tablets. Intel® Atom™ x3-C3200RK and Intel® Atom™ x3-C3230RK have since been launched and are currently powering devices manufactured by various vendors and are available in the consumer electronics market.


As we have previously discussed, Intel® Atom™ x3 Processor Family provides a foundation to build full-featured and cost-effective platforms which target the entry to mid-level price-range market segments. These devices are not specifically designed as high performance gaming machines, but users will nevertheless play games on these devices. So as game developers, we should keep these market segments users in mind. Understanding the platform hardware and software features will help us develop good practices and optimization approaches to improve the gaming user experience on these devices.


The discussion in this blog will focus on the 2 Atom x3 SoC SKUs which have already been launched: C3200RK and C3230RK.


Performance and Graphics Specifications


Both C3200RK and C3230RK are 4 Core / 4 Thread 64-bit processors, with burst frequency at 1.1 GHz. Both processors come with integrated Mali* 450 MP4 GPU, which supports OpenGL* up to ES 2.0. Both platforms support max display resolution up to 1920x1080 at 60 Hz max refresh rate.


In general, to better utilize the CPU/GPU and achieve better user experience on these cost-effective platforms, developers should consider light-weighted graphics workloads. Multithreading of apps is also  recommended.


Because both processors include Mali GPU, for OpenGL ES API level optimization, please reference the “Mali GPU OpenGL ES Application Optimization Guide”.


Development Tools


For developers using Unity* Game Engine, to get information about developing Unity based games to run on x86 platforms, including C3200RK and C3230RK based devices, please visit “Unity* Resource Center for x86 Support”. A good article to read is “Adding x86 Support to Android* Apps Using the Unity* Game Engine”.


Currently Intel® Graphics Performance Analyzers do not support the Atom x3 based devices. For graphics analysis, developers may use “Mali Graphics Debugger”.




In this blog we have discussed some high level graphics and game development related information for Intel® Atom™ x3 SoC Processors based platforms. The information may help game developers achieve better gaming experience on those entry to mid-level cost-effective tablets and phones.


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*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.



Product and Performance Information


Intel's compilers may or may not optimize to the same degree for non-Intel microprocessors for optimizations that are not unique to Intel microprocessors. These optimizations include SSE2, SSE3, and SSSE3 instruction sets and other optimizations. Intel does not guarantee the availability, functionality, or effectiveness of any optimization on microprocessors not manufactured by Intel. Microprocessor-dependent optimizations in this product are intended for use with Intel microprocessors. Certain optimizations not specific to Intel microarchitecture are reserved for Intel microprocessors. Please refer to the applicable product User and Reference Guides for more information regarding the specific instruction sets covered by this notice.

Notice revision #20110804