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Despite never being battle tested, Intel claims its smart phone processors will be the most powerful on the planet.  (Source: Funimation/Toei)
Hardware giant says that its upcoming Atom-based smart phone processor will crush ARM chips in power, performance

Intel certainly is taking a bold, if dangerous position.  Without having shipped a single smart phone system on a chip, it's claiming that its first generation smart phone chips will beat ARM designs when Intel launches the chips to the market later this year.

Speaking at the Mobile World Conference 2011 in Barcelona, Spain Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, made this bold prediction.  He concedes that the upcoming smart phone core, dubbed Medfield, will only tie ARM cores in standby time.  But he claims it will blow away the competition in the amount of time the phone can remain active and how fast it can perform processing.

That seems a bit overly optimistic, given that Intel is only in its first generation, while most ARM CPU makers are well into their second or third generation.

The good news for Intel, though, is that at least it appears like it will be delivering a product sometime soon.  It says [press release] it is currently producing the smart phone chips, which should be due in products late this year.  

The first generation chips come with an HSPA+ modem, courtesy of the technology that Intel acquired from its $1.4B USD purchase of Infineon.  While ARM processors with on-chip LTE modems should be available near the start of next year, Intel's LTE-ready chips won't arrive until holiday season 2012.  

The most immediate problem (other than living up to its huge claims) facing Intel is convincing hardware manufacturers to embrace Medfield.  If the performance is as Earth-shaking as Intel claims that shouldn't be too hard to do -- but if the performance is closer to what one would expect in reality, it may be an uphill battle for Intel.  So far only LG has showed off an Atom-based smart phone prototype.  No hardware partners have been announced, though Intel claims it should begin shipping product later this year.

The big issue facing Intel, though, is that if it isn't able to live up to its boastful claims and doesn't take the fight to ARM, ARM will likely take the fight to it.  Qualcomm has already aired a quad-core 2.5 GHz ARM chip that will be available next year.  With Windows 8 set to support ARM-based PCs, Intel could be in a world of hurt in the power-conscience laptop market.


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Problem for Intel. Not just CPU but GPU as well.
By fteoath64 on 2/19/2011 1:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
And we all know how badly Intel's integrated GPUs are!. Only the ones in SB chips show respectable speeds that those cannot by put into Medfield or similar. Just look at Nvidia Kal El demos of their quad-A9 (aka Tegra 3). It would take intel 3-4 years to do this. Again, it is not about money, it about capability.

The mobile domain is so competitive that matching existing platforms is not good enough. One needs to exceed it by 50% or more and has a decent power budget for whole-day battery life, Maybe Intel should invest in battery research ?.




By JumpingJack on 2/21/2011 2:39:11 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, Medfield will probably license some variant of PowerVR SGX GPU, by Imaginations Technolgies... just as Moorestown uses, since Medfield is the followup to Moorestown with much more integratino.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3696/intel-unveils-m...

This will be the same graphics found most other mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, many Android phones, etc.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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