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Working Moorestown MID Prototype  (Source: Intel)
Moorestown MID promises ten times the battery life of Atom-powered MIDs

Intel is looking to the future of the Mobile Internet Device (MID) and sees a large market for the devices. Intel has unveiled the first working Moorestown platform at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taipei. The working device was unveiled during the IDF keynote delivered by Anand Chandrasekher.

During the speech, Chandrasekher talked about the impact that the internet and mobile web has had on the lives of consumers across the world. Chandrasekher said, "Technology innovation is the catalyst for new user experiences, industry collaborations and business models that together will shape the next 40 years. As the next billion people connect to and experience the Internet, significant opportunities lie in the power of technology and the development of purpose-built devices that deliver more targeted computing needs and experiences."

Chandrasekher points to Intel's Atom processor, the upcoming Nehalem processor, and the Moorestown platform as examples of its leadership in products that help deliver internet access to consumers.

The working Moorestown device includes a SOC codenamed Lincroft that integrates a 45nm processor, graphics, memory controller, and video encode/decode onto a single chip. Moorestown also includes an I/O hub codenamed Langwell supporting a variety of I/O ports for connecting to wireless devices, storage, and display devices.

Moorestown is on track, according to Chandrasekher, to reduce power consumption on MIDs by 10x compared to the current Atom powered devices. Moorestown platforms will support a range of wireless technology including 3G, WiMAX, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and mobile TV. Intel and Ericsson are working together for a HSPA module optimized for Moorestown. The small modules will measure 25x30x2 mm and have low power requirements.

Minor details of Intel's coming Core i7 processors were also revealed at IDF by Intel's Kirk Skaugen. The i7 processors are set to launch next month and Skaugen says that the parts will provide outstanding performance for gaming and content creation devices.

Intel first introduced the Moorestown platform in May of 2007. The big change with Moorestown from previous generation platforms for the same type of MID devices is that Moorestown integrates the CPU, GPU, and memory controller into one chip. Previous mobile platforms required separate chips for each function.

By combining the functions into one Moorestown chip, Intel was able to save space and power while delivering improved performance. At the time of introduction Intel roadmaps showed that Moorestown devices would be able to last a full day of mixed productivity use and net surfing with approximately 24 hour run time.

Intel didn’t offer any updated availability information at IDF 2008. The original delivery date when Moorestown was introduced was mid-2009. With low cost netbooks supporting the PC industry during the difficult economy around the world today, the Moorestown devices are in a good position in the market.

If the Moorestown MIDs come to market at roughly the same price as the Atom-powered netbooks with much greater battery life, technology fans looking for a low cost option for browsing the internet and checking email could find the Moorestown powered MIDs to be ideal for their needs.

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By ineedaname on 10/20/2008 12:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
SOC's sound like a good idea to save power for MID's but its going to suck big time if they eventually transfer SOC's to desktops or even bigger laptops.

Just seems like a way for Intel to monopolize and control the chipset market. Maybe even wireless cards or other things will be implemented into a single chip eventually.

Don't get me wrong I'm all for SOC's on my netbook but I would hate it if 10 years down the road everything is SOC.

RE: SOC's?
By Tsuwamono on 10/20/2008 12:28:21 PM , Rating: 5
Socks are amazing way to save power. I wear big wool ones at home so i can leave the heat lower.

RE: SOC's?
By StevoLincolnite on 10/20/2008 12:42:21 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, I would hate to have System on a Chip in my Desktop, to me I would rather have GPU, WiFi etc stripped out and give me the Processor at a lower price.

It's actually amazing how far technology has come, 12-14 Years ago I laughed at the idea of having a PC running Windows that I could carry around effortless WITH a COLOUR screen, and have ample enough power to play StarCraft 1! - Eventually I beleive with Processors going more parallel and GPU's getting more programmable, that eventually the Super CGPU (Central Graphics Processing Unit) will be the only chip in our computers.

RE: SOC's?
By foolsgambit11 on 10/22/2008 4:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I remember when the CPU(ALU) and the FPU were separate chips. My first computer had an empty socket for an FPU if I wished to 'upgrade'. Shouldn't we go back to that? I mean, would you rather have the FPU stripped out and get the processor at a lower price?

But more realistically, it makes some sense to integrate ALU, FPU, GPU, (possibly PPU, too), specialized decoding pathways (h.264, for example) and memory controller into a single chip - they all access main memory and perform processing calculations on data. Upgrades could take place by adding discrete graphics or physics cards. But the gains of integrating I/O onto the same chip are much lower, so I imagine that will come later, especially in non-power-sensitive applications. So wireless, storage, interface devices, etc. will probably be on a second chip - ICH or South Bridge, or whatever you want to call it - on the desktop and mid- and high-end laptops for a while to come.

But your comment that you'd like to have the features stripped out assumes that the additional features would come with additional costs. That's not forward-looking enough. There will certainly come a time when all of the features we drool about now will become so cheap (nearly free) to implement that it makes sense to include them rather than not. We're still a few years from that point, but I think you may change your mind about SoCs at some point, assuming you live long enough to see technology advance to the point where putting WiFi capability on a chip, for example, costs pennies.

RE: SOC's?
By bobsmith1492 on 10/20/2008 12:53:23 PM , Rating: 2
SOCs are great for portable devices.

They might appear in desktop devices (making them tiny and low-power at the same time, meaning possibly a true desktop - small box on your desk - or built into your monitor.)

For high-performance machines parts will stay separate if for no other reason than heat. Imagine a high-end GPU and CPU in the same chip...

Also there would be so many interconnects to video ram, system ram, etc. that board layout and routing would be expensive (many-layer MBs).

RE: SOC's?
By mattclary on 10/20/2008 12:55:00 PM , Rating: 2
There will always be a need to high-power computing on the desktop. Either a SOC will be available that can crunch huge numbers, or you will have discreet components that can do it. If there is a demand, they will build it.

RE: SOC's?
By Mr Perfect on 10/20/2008 1:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
Well we're getting them anyhow... to a degree. Athlon64 and now i7 have integrated memory controllers, and next we'll have Fusion like CPUs that will have built in graphics too.

As long as desktop boards continue to offer expansion slots, we should actually come out ahead. Take a look at the OEM boxes and laptops out there, most of them are newish CPUs chained to older chipsets. If chipsets get integrated into the CPU, then maybe our PC suppliers won't be able to screw us over like they do by using 945 motherboards to run our Core 2s.

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
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