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"Menlow" MIDs  (Source: DailyTech, Brandon Hill)

Prototype "Moorestown" MID  (Source: DailyTech, Brandon Hill)
Low-power is key with Intel's next generation ultra-mobile platform

Mobility is the main topic of discussion today at the Intel Developer forum. Anand Chandrasekher, Intel's senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group, gave the press a taste of what Intel will have to offer in the Mobile Internet Device (MID) and Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) device categories.

The next generation of mobile devices will be built on Intel's new Menlow platform which will be more power efficient than the company's current , a.k.a. McCaslin. The McCaslin platform uses 90 nanometer Stealey 600MHz (A100) and 800MHz (A110) processors coupled with the 945GU Express chipset and ICH7U southbridge.

Menlow, on the other hand, will use new 45 nanometer Hi-k low-power Silverthorne processors and the Poulsbo chipset. Other features included on the Menlow platform are 802.11n wireless technology, 3G and WiMAX for extended broadband coverage.

"In the first half of 2008, Intel will take a major step to deliver what these users are looking for with our first platform designed from the ground up for MIDs and UMPCs – codenamed Menlow, which will deliver 10x lower power compared to the first UMPCs in the market," said Chandrasekher.

The small Linux-powered MIDs will be small-form factor devices with 4" to 6" touch screens. Intel envisions these devices being used for mobile Internet, music/video playback and social networking (i.e. MySpace and Facebook). Canonical founder and CEO Mark Shuttleworth demonstrated a prototype MID device running a specialized version of Ubuntu Linux with Chandrasekher.

UMPCs, however, will continue to feature larger screens, QWERTY keypads and will in most cases use Windows based operating systems.

In addition, Chandrasekher also displayed future phone-enabled MID using the Moorestown platform (2009/2010 launch). In keeping with Intel's strive to reduce power consumption, Moorestown will is a true system-on-chip design with CPU, graphics, video and memory controller all on a single piece of silicon.

"Moorestown, will increase battery life an order of magnitude by reducing idle power by 10x compared to Menlow," remarked Chandrasekher.

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RE: iPhone 2
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 1:57:31 PM , Rating: 1
I'm not sure the point. iPhone 2 will almost certainly use ARM processor(s) again, not the processors used for UMPC.

RE: iPhone 2
By Cygni on 9/19/2007 2:23:45 PM , Rating: 5
Apple has openly said that they wanted to move the iPhone to a low power x86 platform. While these Intel proccessors may not be in the very next iPhone revision (as they wont ship until 2010), i can nearly guarantee that Apple is eyeing them with great interest for a future revision.

RE: iPhone 2
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 2:39:57 PM , Rating: 1
I guess we'll see. Up until now ARM processors have always been more power efficient than X86 which is why you see them designed into nearly all mobile devices.

But if Intel and AMD can push some of their advanced design and manufacturing technology down into this sector of the market, that balance could certainly shift in favor of X86. I think the competition will be stiff - the ARM folks are not going to give up that market without a fight.

RE: iPhone 2
By UNCjigga on 9/19/2007 3:23:46 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't ARM (StrongARM) part of Intel to begin with--then they divested that business unit?

Just because they sold off that business doesn't mean Intel won't play in that market--they've been waiting for the stars to align (45nm process, ultra-efficient microarchitecture, battery technology, mobile graphics, etc.) before bringing x86 to the handheld segment. Looks like 2009-2010 is when we can see it happen.

As an aside, I think its crazy how Intel unveils their UMPC architecture 3-4 years in advance. Before they even introduce the next generation, they're talking about what's coming after next! Yeah, I really want to buy a $300-$1000 device knowing it will be obsolete in a year...

RE: iPhone 2
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 3:28:12 PM , Rating: 2
No, "ARM" wasn't part of Intel, although Intel had a couple of ARM families of parts through the years, which they divested as you said.

More info on ARM:

RE: iPhone 2
By UNCjigga on 9/19/2007 4:16:28 PM , Rating: 2
Right, I was referring to ARM architecture, not any specific company. I believe StrongARM was the original Intel-brand of ARM architecture ( says they acquired it from DEC--didn't know that till just now.) Then Intel developed Xscale (also based on ARM architecture) and sold that business to a Taiwanese company. Like I said, these moves (especially the latter) should indicate their desire to use x86 vs. RISC in handheld/phone markets as well as notebook/UMPC markets.

RE: iPhone 2
By TomZ on 9/19/2007 6:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, I agree; when Intel sold XScale to Marvell, it was a strong indicator they didn't plan to pursue ARM for the mobile device market. It will be interesting to see how that plays out in a few years.

RE: iPhone 2
By therealnickdanger on 9/19/2007 2:42:44 PM , Rating: 3
Well, that wasn't my point. I wasn't stating with any sort of authority that these ultra-mobile CPUs or platforms would be used in the next iPhone, but rather commenting in a humorous fasion that we are on the verge of such devices.

It may very well be likely that Moorestown or a 32nm variant will find its way into a future iPhone. They might continue to use ARM or select an AMD platform. No one yet knows. UMPCs are gaining traction and it is very exciting!

RE: iPhone 2
By animedude on 9/19/2007 4:57:12 PM , Rating: 2
I thought the Asus EEE is going to kick the ass out of the whole UMPC market. Nearly half of the price of UMPC with almost the same specs.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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