Thursday 3 January 2013

Intel Reportedly Testing a New Smartphone Platform for 2013

Intel is reportedly testing a new chip Medfield for smartphones and tablets. This fact will be formally announced at the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Spain. Medfield System-on-Chip (SoC) will be available in a Package on Package configuration of 12mm x 12mm, specifically intended for mobile devices. The new chip is expected to make web browsing at hyper speed a glitch-free experience. Smooth multitasking and quick-response apps are some of the other advantages. It also promises to increase clock speed with lower power consumption.

Technical Specifications 

The new 32nm Medfield, Cortex A15 based SoC is a chipset that encompasses all its capabilities in a single chip, thus making it very compact. This supersedes its predecessor which had two chipsets – one for the processor and one for the chip. The specifications released so far include the following:

  • A single compact chipset instead of the usual dual chipset,
  • 1.6GHz x86 high speed Processor,
  • Idle Thermal Design Power (TDP) of approximately 2 Watts,
  • Operating load of about 3 Watts,
  • Random Access Memory (DDR2) of 1GB suitable for multitasking,
  • Bluetooth capabilities,
  • Suitable for Wi-Fi connectivity,
  • FM radio,
  • Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) higher than OMAP 4460 with 3D capability,
  • Suitable with 3G high-speed networks,
  • Very high bandwidth. 

The versatile little chip

Intel’s latest Medfield SoC will be compatible with multiple operating systems like Windows 8 and Android for smartphones and tablets. It is also suited for mobiles and tabs working on Ice Cream Sandwich. Preliminary testing has shown great success; especially considering that power-wise Intel’s Medfield has an advantage over ARM-based devices. The chip will face fierce competition from the Taiwanese MediaTek and other chip manufacturers in China. But with its capabilities, the Medfield is expected to break the Eastern impasse.

The design reference of the system will be provided to the handset makers, who can then incorporate the Intel chip during the manufacturing process. Of course, the specs-sharing with new entrants in this field does not seem to be on the cards. Intel’s existing ties with mobile phone makers like Motorola and Lenovo with the new chip are already in the pipeline.

Intel’s chip is much smaller in size than all other mobile chips so far. The fact that, despite its size, it is suitable with existing mobile devices that work on ARM platforms without needing special mobile phones is a great advantage. Reputed partners have already announced new devices with the Intel Medfield chip, particularly those of Android mobile phones and tablets. So probably Intel will not be seen trying to hard-sell the chip to handset manufacturers.

With the Lava Xolo, Intel had already taken a step into the mobile chip manufacturing sector. With Medfield SoC to be launched by mid 2013, Intel is bound to give chip manufacturers like Qualcomm, Mediatek, Samsung, etc a run for big bucks. What sets the Intel mobile chip apart from the rest is that it consumes less battery even with a high level of multi tasking and continuous usage.

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Hannah Jones

Author & Editor

From Skopje, Macedonia, Also works as Software Quality Assurance.


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