Intel Corporation Stories January 11, 2012

A smartphone reference design by Intel.

Handset maker Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Google, and is subject to approval from regulators in the United States and Europe, said at CES 2012 yesterday that it would release fewer phones in 2012. The company also announced a multi-year strategic mobile partnership with Intel to make Android smartphones powered by the chipmaker’s struggling Atom platform.

According to Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha’s roundtable meeting with reporters at CES yesterday, Motorola no longer sees value in dispersing its efforts by flooding the market with countless devices:

A lot of products that are roughly the same doesn’t drive the market to a new place. […] I made this decision independent of what the others will. We’re doing what we think is the right thing.

Motorola issued a warning last week on fourth-quarter results, and the company said numbers would come in below the $3.9 billion that most analysts expected. As for the Motorola-Intel partnership…

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Intel Corporation Stories December 21, 2011

Intel has had little luck putting its chips into smartphones and tablets, as the devices continue to rely predominantly on silicon designs based around Britain’s ARM Holdings technology. Its easy to see why: ARM-licensed chips built by the likes of Nvidia, Qualcomm, Samsung and Texas Instruments are famous for their efficiency in terms of CPU performance versus power consumption.

Nevertheless, the world’s largest chipmaker is hoping to turn the tables with the Medfield platform: a 32-nanometer Atom processor for tablets and smartphones. Google and Intel announced a partnership at the Intel Developers Forum 2011 in San Francisco that promises to put Medfield chips in Android devices beginning January 2012.

Intel unveiled a reference design today for Android smartphones using the Medfield architecture. According to Technology Review, prototype hardware is speedier than today’s flagship smartphones without taxing the battery heavily. Medfield-driven Ice Cream Sandwich smartphones and tablets, performance-wise, should be able to play Blu-ray-rated high-definition video, stream to the tube over a wireless network, and take up to 10 8-megapixel images in burst mode. Do not mistaken the above image for an iPhone 4S, because it is just a reference prototype design meant as a guidance for OEMs looking to incorporate Intel’s chips into their products.

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