Intel Reveals Reference Phone & Tablets

Filed under: Articles,Mobility |


In the mobile market, one company dominates more than any other. It’s not a handset manufacturer like Samsung or Apple, it’s UK-based ARM who license their processors and system-on-chip configurations to every major mobile manufacturer who then turn it into their own creations, including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon and Apple’s A5.

Intel, who is one of the two major players in the PC processor market (the other being AMD), has been relatively quiet in this space. While it has produced a few chips for mobile devices, they haven’t proven successful. But with their latest mobile chip, called Medfield, they expect to enjoy much greater success.

The new chip is being shown off by two reference devices, a smartphone and a tablet, each powered by the Medfield chip. Like Google’s reference phones which herald a new version of Android, these devices hope to show off what the new chipset can do to handset manufacturers.

According to Intel, the new chips are the first true system-on-chip designs they’ve produced, coalescing two or three different functions into one piece of silicon. That will mean the new chips are much more power efficient than their predecessors, and because they’re based on 32 nanometer silicon, they can be more powerful than the 40 or 45 nanometer ARM chipsets.

Intel says it has tested out its reference designs against the top three handsets on the market today, and their design comes out on top with faster browsing, better graphics performance and lower power consumption. The reference phone, which currently has Android Gingerbread onboard, has a unique burst-mode function for its camera that is capable of taking full 8 megapixel shots at 15 per second for sustained periods. The tablet also impressed the MIT Technology Review who used the products, as it included Ice Cream Sandwich, the latest version of Android.

Intel is hoping to release a few phones powered by their chips in 2012, and will seek to get into the market even more aggressively in 2013 when their latest-generation 22 nanometer processors will be ready to go. ARM won’t reach that milestone until 2014, so Intel could provide significantly better chipsets in that time.

Expect to see more of the Intel-powered gadgets during CES early next year.





This article was written by William Judd, who works for The firm is the UK’s largest online retailer of the Leather Kindle Cover, the Kindle Charger and other Amazon Kindle Covers.