Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Intel’s Medfield SoC unveiled, x86 Android phones from Motorola & Lenovo

At CES 2012, Intel has officially launched Medfield — the Atom Z2460 — a smartphone SoC that’s going into products that will actually ship. That last is particularly important — unlike past launches, Intel has held Medfield back until its partners were ready to go to press as well. Motorola has announced a...
multi-stage deal involving both phones and tablets, with phones coming first and expected by this summer, while Lenovo demoed its K800 smartphone (intended for the Chinese market) from stage this afternoon.
Even so, today’s news is likely to be greeted by some skepticism; Intel, after all, has sung this song before. Moorestown launched two years ago with an LG GW990 phone on display, demonstrations of Intel’s then-new OS, Moblin, and plenty of chest beating over the chip’s capabilities. It promptly sank. The next two years poured on the insults — Nokia abandoned the MeeGo project, Anand Chandrasekher resigned from his position as general manager of Intel’s mobile division, and the company reorganized its entire mobile structure just last month.
When Intel invited us to a private briefing several weeks ago, we were initially dubious as to whether Medfield was the chip that would begin to turn the company’s mobile fortunes around. Based on what we’ve seen, we think it will. Our meeting with Intel was long on engineers and short on marketing; top mobile engineer Mike Bell was on hand to field questions and discuss Intel’s uphill struggle in this market.
Forget Moorestown. Forget the pundits who’ve claimed that Intel was incapable of developing a truly low-power processor. Medfield hits “reset” on what’s come before.

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