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New Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) at Intel

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Finally a single organizational structure to push the next year 32nm and 22nm SoC products, like the 32nm Medfield (see also an up to date collection about Medfield inside).

UpdatesIntel to adopt TI, Broadcom wireless chips for Medfield, Clover Trail-W platforms [Dec 30, 2011]

Intel will adopt the Texas Instruments-developed (TI) WL1283 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS chips for its Medfield platform to be launched in the second quarter of 2012 and Broadcom-developed 4330/4751 Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/GPS chips for its Clover Trail-W platform to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to Taiwan-based notebook makers.

In addition to improved processor performance, the Medfield platform, which is designed specifically for Android 4.0, will also feature several unique technologies including Intel Wireless Display, Advanced Imaging and Connected Standby, with devices that adopt the platform to also see a thickness less than 0.85cm and a weight less than 1.5lb.

As for the Clover Trail-W, which is designed for Windows 8 operating system, Intel will also equip the platform with its latest technologies including Intel Wireless Display, Compute Continuum, PC Sync, One Tap NFC, Advanced Imaging and HW Enhanced Security.

In addition to the chips from TI and Broadcom, chips such as IMC’s IFX6260, Ericsson’s C5621gw and NXP’s PN65N are all being listed within Intel’s list of purchasing for tablet PCs, while the company will also adopt Sierra’s EM77x0 chip for its Clover Trail-W for the platform to support LTE technology.

Intel to launch Medfield platform in 2Q12, Clover Trail-W platform in 4Q12 [Digitimes, Dec 29, 2011]

Intel plans to launch its Medfield platform running on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) OS in the second quarter of 2012 and then release its Clover Trail-W platform running on Windows 8 in the fourth quarter of the year.

As few tablet PC vendors have adopted its existing Oak Trail platform, which can pair Atom Z670 processor/SM35 chipsets with either Windows 7 or Android Honeycomb, Intel is aggressive in promoting Medfield hoping to turn the tide.

As for the Windows on ARM (WoA) platform, both Nvidia and Qualcomm will advance their processors to the quad-core generation in 2012 and still maintain the advantages of low power consumption. But as both are facing bottlenecks in their development of support for Windows 8 and shortages in R&D staff and resources, whether the platform can fend off Wintel’s competition remains uncertain.

Intel’s Atom N2600, N2800 & D2700: Cedar Trail, The Heart of the 2012 Netbook [Anandtech, Dec 28, 2011]

While the original Atom and Pineview (Pine Trail’s Atom) were built on Intel’s 45nm process, Cedar Trail moves to 32nm. Cedar Trail’s SoC shrinks to 56mm2, finally making it smaller than AMD’s Zacate APU. The underlying CPU architecture hasn’t really changed, nor have cache sizes (512KB L2 per core) or clock speeds (1.66GHz and 1.86GHz parts available), so what this is really about is a reduction in power consumption.

There are three Atom CPUs being offered as a part of Cedar Trail: the N2600, N2800 and D2700. Just as before, the N-series are for netbooks while the D-series are for desktops. All of the Cedar Trail Atoms are dual-core parts, but they all slot into the same power envelope as the old single-core Pine Trial platforms (5 – 8W). The only exception is the D2700 which is a 10W platform. Note that this is the total TDP for the Atom SoC + the NM10 Express chipset (providing USB, LAN, PCIe, etc…).

The spec breakdown is below:

Given the same number of cores and the same clock speeds, CPU performance shouldn’t go up compared to Pine Trail. Since everything is now dual-core we should see a boost at the low end, but I wouldn’t expect to see CPU performance that’s better than Zacate.

Cedar Trail now supports DDR3-800 and 1066 (up from 667MHz max data rates before). The bigger change is the GPU. The GMA 3150 used in Pine Trail was an Intel Gen graphics derivative (45nm GMA 3100), however Cedar Trail now features a PowerVR SGX 545 sourced from Imagination Technologies. At 640MHz in the N2800, we’ve never seen the SGX 545 run at anywhere near this clock speed before so it’ll be interesting to see how well it performs. Intel is claiming a > 2x GPU performance improvement compared to the GMA 3150 in Pine Trail in 3DMark 06. The big question is Windows driver maturity, but we’ll find out soon enough as systems based on Cedar Trail are in production now and are expected to ship in early 2012. Expect to see Cedar Trail netbooks from ASUS, Acer, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and Toshiba for starters.

The new graphics block also includes support for H.264 video decode acceleration (we’re still digging for specifics) as well as Intel Wireless Display technology. Note that WiDi support will vary depending on the system and price point:

Intel is expecting the vast majority of Cedar Trail netbooks to be sold in the $199 – $229 price point. At $299 is where you’ll likely find features like WiDi as well as potentially fanless designs. Don’t expect any of those new form factors at $399 until the later part of next year, likely coinciding with Windows 8’s release.

Overall the addition of HD video decode support and lower power consumption are both nice features to have, but I’m skeptical as to whether this will be enough to carry Intel based netbooks throughout the majority of 2012. Atom is in dire need of an architecture update (something we’ll get in 2013) and the netbook as a platform is in need of a refresh. I do hope to see some manufacturers taking risks with slim, fanless Cedar Trail based designs next year but we’ll have to wait and see if they’re any good.

Intel Begins Shipping New Intel® Atom™ Processors; New Features, Great Battery Life on Tap [IntelPR, Dec 28, 2011]


  • Third-generation Intel Atom processor-based platform introduces several new features for low-power designs such as netbooks, retail and healthcare IT devices.
  • Platform’s power management features provide the potential to improve performance and battery life by 20 percent compared to previous generation.
  • Netbooks based on this platform offer up to 10 hours of battery life, weeks of standby and full 1080p high-definition video.
    [An Intel spokeswoman said that while device makers can put Cedar Trail chips in tablets, most of the company’s customers are opting for Intel’s upcoming Medfield or Clover Trail tablet chips for tablets.]
  • Systems using new Intel Atom processor-based platform from Acer, Asus, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, and Toshiba will debut in early 2012 [beginning in January starting at US$199].

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Dec. 28, 2011 – Intel Corporation today announced the availability of the latest mobile Intel Atom processor-based platform, formerly codenamed “Cedar Trail.” Designed to provide small, compact, on-the-go computing with great battery life at an affordable price, the latest platform adds several new features to netbook computers made popular by students, families, and those looking for light productivity and Internet browsing. These devices will be available in early 2012 [beginning in January starting at US$199] from major OEMs including: Acer*, Asus*, HP*, Lenovo*, Samsung*, and Toshiba*.

The new design’s dedicated media engine enables full 1080p high-definition playback of videos and Blu-Ray content and includes additional digital display and output options including HDMI and DisplayPort. The integrated Intel® Graphics Media Accelerator 3600/3650 combined with the integrated memory controller provides enhanced performance and system responsiveness, including an improvement in graphics performance up to 2X compared to the previous generation platform.

Systems based on the new Intel Atom processors may have up to 10 hours of battery life and weeks of standby, allowing for all-day use between charges. Additionally, Intel increased processor and overall system performance while reducing power consumption up to 20 percent compared to the previous platform.

Based on Intel’s leading-edge 32nm process technology, Intel incorporated several new features into the platform such as Intel® Wireless Display and Intel® Wireless Music. With these new features and wireless enabled devices, people can share videos or photos wirelessly from their netbooks to a television, or stream music through their home stereo speakers.

Additional features such as Intel® Smart Connect Technology allows users to have an instant Internet connection as soon as they open their netbook, and have email, Twitter* and RSS feeds automatically updated even in sleep mode. Intel® Rapid Start Technology enables fast resume from standby mode and helps conserve battery life.

The dual-core Intel Atom processor N2600 [runs at 1.6GHz and draws 3.5 watts of power] and Intel Atom processor N2800 [runs at 1.86GHz and draws 6.5 watts of power] are paired with the Intel® NM10 Express Chipset and feature a small form factor package size that saves system board real estate and enables thinner netbook designs. In addition to the mobile processors, Intel offers the Intel Atom processor D2500 and D2700 for entry-level desktop and all-in-one designs, as well as intelligent system solutions. The platform supports a range of operating systems including: Windows*, MeeGo*, and Tizen*.

New Features, Lower Power Have Broad Appeal
The new Intel Atom processors provide a lower thermal design power (TDP) and power management features such as Intel® Deeper Sleep and Intel® SpeedStep Technology that enable lower power designs, making it especially attractive for netbooks as well as intelligent systems including: healthcare equipment, retail systems and entry-level digital signage.

In health care settings, the improved battery life and enhanced graphics means medical professionals can enhance patient care and bring infotainment services to a patient’s bedside. ARBOR* technology will release a new patient infotainment bedside terminal, based on the Intel Atom processor N2800 that helps clinicians improve workflow management and work efficiency, reduce human error, and enhance healthcare quality. Patients can also enjoy access to plenty of multi-media entertainment, hospital information and communication services on the system.

The always on, always connected capabilities are also ideal for entry-level point-of-sale systems with the ability to boot up instantly to serve customer’s at a moment’s notice. Point-of-sale terminals based on the Intel Atom processor D2700 and manufactured by NCR Corporation* will be installed in restaurant and retail locations throughout the U.S. beginning in the first quarter of 2012.

Intelligent system designs are offered 7-year lifecycle support, as well as support for Windows Embedded Standard 7*, Windows XP and XPe*, Windows Embedded Compact*, Yocto Project* and Wind River VxWorks* operating systems.

For more information, video, and photos visit www.intel.com/newsroom/atom and the Intel Atom Processor-based Platform for Mobile Computing press kit.

Intel’s smartphone guru angles for smooth landing [Reuters, Dec 23, 2011]

[Mike] Bell [the head of new MCG], a mechanical engineering major whose resume includes a stint at Palm, hopes to reverse that. Within Intel, he is known as a “phone guy” with a good understanding of chips, rather than a “chip guy” trying to figure out phones.

Underscoring the urgency of his brief, Chief Executive Paul Otellini has given Bell carte blanche to draw on Intel’s assets. Bell has used that to rope experts from different departments into an autonomous group focused on integrating software like Android with Intel’s chip designs.

Intel for now is keeping most of its advances close to the vest. But in a field where power-efficiency ranks about as high as computing velocity, Bell believes Intel’s newest chip, the Medfield, is just about ready for prime time.

“Medfield is our first real foray into the space. We have no apologies to make in power or performance. It’s a fantastic first step for us,” the shaggy-haired executive said.

Some experts believe Intel’s proprietary architecture is ill-suited for mobile processors. Apple and other manufacturers rely on technology licensed by Britain’s ARM Holdings.

But Bell, who left Palm to join Intel more than a year ago, believes Medfield can hold its own against rival chips offered by the likes of Qualcomm Inc and Nvidia.

With processors also made by Texas Instruments Inc and Samsung stealing the show, his engineers have been laboring to adapt technology refined over decades for PCs to work better in handheld devices without quickly draining their batteries.

“Based on our own internal research, we think Medfield is going to be very competitive in the time frame that it ships against anything in the market,” he argued.

Bell has brought in talent from outside to propel his effort, including engineers from Apple and other smartphone makers. And he has leveraged an internal R&D machine that the chipmaker poured almost $7 billion into last year.

Intel will manufacture Medfield using a 32-nanometer process, which packs more transistors into the same space than rival chips made on wider line-width processes. It plans next year to shrink the process down to 22 nanometers.

“We already have the next three generations on the drawing board and in process,” Bell said.

His rapid ascent at Intel came at a time of turbulence. He began in July 2010 as a vice president in charge merely of building reference devices to show off chips to customers. Salesmen at the time wielded a brick-like device that could perform basic features — but sorely lacked panache.

To help his team and customers envision the experience, he designed a whole new Android smartphone, distributed to potential clients and internally to a thousand employees. Their feedback helped inform development.

In March, Bell and Dave Whalen took over the Ultra Mobility division after Intel veteran Anand Chandrasekher, who led Intel’s charge into netbooks, resigned. Some investors took his departure as a sign the company was struggling with its smartphone strategy.

Then a week ago, Intel consolidated four divisions into a mobile and communications unit led by Bell and ex-Infineon executive Hermann Eul. Both are general managers of the group, but Bell heads up processor development while Eul oversees connectivity chips including modems, Bluetooth and WiFi.

At Palm, Bell had led a team that created the Pre and Pixi. But he became one of many to jump ship after the struggling company was acquired by Hewlett Packard Co last year.

Before that, he spent 16 years at Apple, where he had a hand in developing the iMac, iPhone and Apple TV. One industry insider who had worked with him said Bell’s ace card is his ability to understand how to design and build phones and bring them to market. He sees how different parts work together, like software and hardware, instead of concentrating on chips.

Intel Shows Off Its Smart Phone and Tablet for 2012 [Technology Review by MIT, Dec 21, 2011]

Last week, Technology Review tried out prototype smart phones and tablets equipped with Intel’s latest mobile chip, dubbed Medfield, and running the Android mobile operating system created by Google. “We expect products based on these to be announced in the first half of 2012,” says Stephen Smith, vice president of Intel’s architecture group.

Known as “reference designs,” the devices are sent out to inspire and instruct manufacturers interested in building products around Intel’s latest technology. “They can use as much or as little of the reference design as they like,” says Smith, who hinted that the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show in January could bring news of gadgets in which Intel’s chips will appear.

Intel’s Medfield is the latest in its “Atom” line of mobile chips. So far none of them have seriously threatened the dominance of ARM-based chips in mobile devices, in part because they are more power-hungry. However, the new chip represents a significant technological step toward lower power consumption.

Previous Atom designs spread the work of a processor across two or three chips, a relatively power-intensive scheme that originated many years ago in Intel’s PC chips. But now Intel has finally combined the core functions of its processor designs into one chunk of silicon. “This is our first offering that’s truly a single chip,” says Smith. The all-in-one design, known as a system on-a-chip, is a standard feature of the ARM chips so dominant in smart phones today.

The phone prototype seen by Technology Review was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, probably because the case was made with more plastic and less glass and metal. It was running the version of Google’s operating system shipping with most Android phones today, known as Gingerbread; a newer version, Ice Cream Sandwich, was released by Google only about a month ago.

The phone was powerful and pleasing to use, on a par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets. It could play Blu-Ray-quality video and stream it to a TV if desired; Web browsing was smooth and fast. Smith says Intel has built circuits into the Medfield chip specifically to speed up Android apps and Web browsing.

One feature that stood out was the camera’s “burst mode,” which captures 10 full-size eight-megapixel images at a rate of 15 per second. Smith says that feature rests on a combination of image-processing circuits built into the Medfield chip and dedicated software tweaks on top, technology that comes in part from Intel’s acquisition of the Dutch image-processing company Silicon Hive earlier this year. This kind of hardware could help apps developed for augmented reality.

Intel’s reference tablet, which used the same Medfield chip as the phone, was running the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich. It had a slightly larger screen than the iPad 2 but was about the same in thickness and weight. A limited trial suggested that it was noticeably nicer to use than older tablets based on the abandoned Honeycomb version of Android.

It took time for engineers to find a way to compress their usual three-chip design into a single system-on–a-chip, says Smith, and to help Google make Android work on Intel chips. Now Intel finally has a chip that can match and even surpass established mobile chips. “Now we have this in place, we can accelerate,” Smith says. “We haven’t been able to show a production-grade design before.”

Intel has tested its reference handset against a handful of the leading phones on sale today. It says these tests show that Medfield offers faster browsing and graphics performance and lower power consumption than the top three, says Smith.

Linley Gwennap, an analyst with the Linley Group, says it’s very significant that Intel is finally offering a fully integrated system-on-a-chip. “It should make Intel more competitive—they’re kind of at the same level as anyone now,” he says. Gwennap adds that Medfield chips use more advanced technology than the established competition, which means the chip’s features are much smaller. That helps improve power consumption and processing power. “Medfield is based on 32-nanometer technology, while the biggest fabs making ARM-based processors are today shipping either 40 or 45 nanometers,” he says.

That lead is likely to disappear as ARM-based processors catch up in the next year, but Smith says that Intel will start making mobile processors using 22-nanometer technology in 2013. Manufacturers of ARM-based chips say they plan to make that jump in 2014. Gwennap says this next generation will give Intel its best hope of grabbing a significant chunk of a new market: “I expect they’ll get into a few phones with Medfield, and then it will be the 22-nanometer chip that really makes a difference.”

However, Gwennap notes that Intel could lag behind in other ways. Although it has caught up by integrating everything a processor needs into a single chip, established mobile chip makers like Qualcomm are already going a step further by incorporating the usually separate wireless modem chip, resulting in even further efficiency gains. Smith says Intel isn’t ready to talk about when it might also make that step.

End of updates

Related information:
Intel: accelerated Atom SoC roadmap down to 22nm in 2 years and a “new netbook experience” for tablet/mobile PC market [April 17 – June 7, 2011]
Intel’s SoC strategy strengthened by 22nm Tri-Gate technology [May 10 – Nov 30, 2011]
Netbook prices starting $50 less at $200 via Intel MeeGo strategy [July 29 – Aug 17, 2011]
Supply chain battles for much improved levels of price/performance competitiveness [Aug 16-19, 2011]
More on supply chain battles for … [Aug 31, 2011]
Be aware of ZTE et al. and white-box (Shanzhai) vendors: Wake up call now for Nokia, soon for Microsoft, Intel, RIM and even Apple! [Feb 21 – March 25, 2011]
CES 2011 presence with Microsoft moving to SoC & screen level slot management that is not understood by analysts/observers at all [Jan 7–13, 2011]
Microsoft’s next step in SoC level slot management [May 27 – June 2, 2011]
Acer repositioning for the post Wintel era starting with AMD Fusion APUs [June 17, 2011]
Acer & Asus: Compensating lower PC sales by tablet PC push [March 29, 2011, with comprehensive update on Aug 2, 2011]
Intel’s industry position and prospects for years ahead [Dec 9, 2010 – March 21, 2011, with “Intel executive quits as smartphone biz falters”]
Gartner: media tablets are the new segment next to mobile PCs and desktops, as well as web- and app-capable mobile phones [April 16 – June 13, , 2011]
Intel Oak Trail to beat ARM with MeeGo specific prices [Nov 25, 2010]
Windows 7 tablets/slates with Oak Trail Atom SoC in December [Nov 1 – Nov 24, 2010]
Imagination Technologies becoming the multimedia IP leader for SoC vendors [Dec 16, 2011] from which “Intel relationship insert” inside contains a kind of comprehensive summary of mobile computing related SoC results by Intel. This can be represented here by the below table:

One thing is quite obvious from all that related information: it took 9 months to work out a new mobile computing business strategy after the March collapse of the previous one (i.e. when “Intel executive quits as smartphone biz falters”). Let see now what we know about that new strategy so far:

Intel combines divisions in bid to boost mobile [Reuters, Dec 14, 2011]

Chipmaker Intel is combining four divisions under a new mobile and communications unit in a bid to catch up in smartphones and tablets, where it has so far failed to gain traction.

The new division combines Intel’s netbook and tablets division, its ultra mobility division, the mobile communications division and the mobile wireless division, spokesman Robert Manetta told Reuters.

“The ultimate goal is we want to speed up and improve the development process,” he said.

Intel’s processors power 80 percent of the world’s PCs but the Santa Clara, California company so far has failed in the fast-growing smartphone and tablet market.

The new division will be headed by Mike Bell, who moved to Intel last year after playing a hand in the development of the iPhone at Apple, and by former Infineon executive Hermann Eul.

Eul had headed Intel’s mobile communications division, which included the cellphone technology business it bought from Infineon in January.

Intel’s mobile wireless groupis responsible for short-range networking like WiFi and the ultra mobility group has developed smartphone processors.

Intel has been adapting its PC chip architecture to be more suitable for mobile gadgets but it faces tough competition from rivals like Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

They specialize in energy efficient chips — a big factor for devices that rally on batteries — using technology licensed from Britain’s ARM Holdings.

Manufacturers are expected to unveil smartphones using a new Intel mobile chip, codenamed Medfield, early next year.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich, editing by Bernard Orr)

Intel Reorganizes Mobile Business to Speed and Improve Development [IDG, Dec 15, 2011]

In a reorganization of its mobile business, Intel said Wednesday it has formed a new group, called the Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) that will focus on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices.

“This is a strategic move designed to provide clear differentiation for Intel-based mobile devices and to speed and improve development of mobile devices and components,” said Intel spokesman Robert Manetta in an email.

The new group is formed by combining four existing Intel groups in the areas of baseband communications, WLAN components, netbooks, tablets, and phones. The groups folded into MCG are Intel Mobile Communications, Mobile Wireless Group, Netbook and Tablet Group, and the Ultra Mobility Group.

The move comes as the company faces stiff competition in the mobile devices market. Although a dominant player in PCs, it is struggling in the mobile devices market where chips based on designs from ARM dominate.

Intel’s mobile business has seen significant changes previously. It announcedin March the resignation of Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of the Ultra Mobility Group.

Chandrasekher, who was said to have left “to pursue other interests”, led a group responsible for the development of low-power Atom chips for products such as smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices.

The new group announced this week is chartered with creating a “compelling user experience by providing optimal hardware, software, and connectivity ingredients as well as complete solutions”, such as form factor reference designs, Intel said.

Two current Intel executives, Hermann Eul and Mike Bell, will run the new group. Bell was appointed to co-manage the Ultra Mobility Group after Chandrasekher’s exit. Eul heads Intel Mobile Communications, and came to Intel after its acquisition of Infineon Technologies’ wireless division.

Michael Bell on Linked in before this:

Michael Bell’s Experience

Vice President and GM of Ultra Mobility Intel
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; INTC; Semiconductors industry
July 2010Present (1 year 6 months)

Partner HALL Wines 
Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Wine and Spirits industry
20112011 (less than a year)

SVP, Product Development Palm 
Public Company; 1001-5000 employees; PALM; Consumer Electronics industry
December 2007July 2010 (2 years 8 months)

Vice President Apple Inc.
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; AAPL; Computer Software industry
2007 (16 years)

Michael Bell’s Education

University of Pennsylvania

Intel ‘Medfield’ chip ready for Ice Cream Sandwich [Dec 5, 2011]

The most recent version of the Google Android operating system, called Ice Cream Sandwich, is ready to run on devices powered by Intel’s ‘Medfield’ processor.

A spokesperson for Intel confirmed that Ice Cream Sandwich would be supported on upcoming Intel Atom Medfield-based devices on Monday.

“Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich will be supported on upcoming Intel ‘Medfield’ processor-based devices, and Intel continues to work closely with Google to optimise Ice Cream Sandwich for future smartphones and tablets based on Intel Atom processors,” an Intel spokesman confirmed.

While the spokesman could not give any release details of specific smartphones or tablets that will use the Medfield chip, he added that device manufacturers and app developers already have access to all the code they need to get started.

Intel optimisations for Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich are available today to ODMs (Original Design Manufacturer) and OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturer) using the Intel Android BSP (Board Support Package), as well as developers working with us on NDK (Native Development Kit) apps in advance of Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich-based x86 devices being available commercially,” he said.

The introduction of the Medfield chip will be vital to Intel’s mobile strategy which has so far failed to gain traction in the smartphone and tablet markets.

In May, Intel chief Paul Otellini said that Medfield phones would be reaching the market during 2012.

The 32nm Medfield processor is the successor to the 45nm Moorestown processor that found its way into a few notebooks, such as the Nokia Booklet 3G, but failed to make inroads on the smartphone segment.

The company hopes to reduce Medfield to a 22nm production process in 2013 and 14nm in 2014, which should reduce the amount of power the processor needs to work.

Intel Says Android 4.0 for Smartphones, Tablets Ready [IDG, Dec 2, 2011]

Intel on Friday said it has readied Android 4.0 for smartphones and tablets based on its upcoming Atom processor code-named Medfield, raising the possibility of Intel-inside handheld devices being released next year with the new OS.

The company had a version of Android 4.0 for Medfield up and running within a day of Google open sourcing the OS, and now packages for smartphones and tablets with Medfield drivers are available to device makers, said Alec Gefrides, head of the Google Program Office at Intel.

Intel is working with device makers to optimize and fine-tune the OS for specific platforms and products based on Medfield chips. While the OS is expected to be ready in time for the product releases, it will be up to the device makers to decide whether they want to implement the OS in smartphones or tablets.

“We’ll see products next year on Gingerbread, Ice Cream Sandwich and Honeycomb,” Gefrides said, referring to Android versions 2.3, 4.0 and 3.x. “Every OEM has to put a stake in the ground to get a product delivered.”

Paul Otellini Busts Some Myths About Intel [Nov 29, 2011]

Myth No. 2: Intel chips are too power-hungry for mobile devices.

Intel, Otellini says, has built its own demonstration Android smartphone to show off the upcoming Medfield generation of its Atom processor, due in 2012. When its power consumption during basic phone functions like things like standby, audio and HD video playback is measured, Intel isn’t the best, but it’s not the worst, either. It usually comes in second or third place when compared against smartphones already in the market, but ahead of others, though Otellini didn’t say which phones it beat and which ones it didn’t.

And on three computing performance benchmarks it beats the others hands down: When using a browser on a phone, the Intel chip smokes the others. It also wins on GLBench, a graphics metric, and SunSpider, a Java test.

Chip Shot: Medfield – The Next Generation of Tablets from Intel [Intel Chip Shot, May 31, 2011]

At Computex, Intel reiterated its Atom System on a Chip (SoC) roadmap, highlighting “Medfield,” which will be built using Intel’s 32nm high-k metal gate process technology. The purpose-built solution will provide lower power, a smaller footprint and more integration of features and performance for the tablet market. “Medfield” will enable sub-9mm tablets that weigh less than 1.5 pounds and provide all day battery life. The processors will be in production later this year for tablet designs in market the first half of 2012 and support a range of operating systems including Google Android (“Honeycomb”), Windows and MeeGo.

Intel to struggle to see general adoption of Medfield in 2H12, say Taiwan makers [Dec 16, 2011]

Intel will launch 32nm Medfield specifically for use in smartphones and tablet PCs in the first half of 2012, but will struggle to win general adoption of the platform by vendors which have offered smartphones, according to Taiwan-based makers.

Because Intel did not establish close partnerships with first-tier smartphone vendors, while notebook vendors, which have smartphone product lines, are conservative about the new platform because of the negative experience with Intel’s mobile Internet devices (MID), these factors are expected to pose strong difficulties for Intel to enter the smartphone market.

Intel has been working on improving its Atom SoC for smartphones and tablet PCs, and expects the new chip’s power consumption will drop below 10W with related manufacturing process to also advance to 32nm Saltwell and then 22nm Silvermont, followed by 14nm Airmont within the next three years.

Although Samsung Electronics reportedly will launch a smartphone adopting Medfield and Android 4.0, and will sell it through Sprint, the sources pointed out that the cooperation between the two firms is because Samsung does not want to be limited by a single platform and therefore is more aggressive in developing products with different platforms, but the same situation may not apply for other first-tier smartphone vendors.

Intel’s Medfield Based Android Smartphone Reference Design [Sept 13, 2011]

An App Developer View of IDF2011 [Intel blog, Sept 16, 2011]

Paul [Otellini , CEO of Intel] showed Intel Pair & Share and Intel Teleport Extender. These technologies allow content and communication to be integrated between a mobile device and an Ultrabook.  Imagine having your phone in your pocket while you edit a video and getting an SMS sent to that phone, pop up on your screen.  Or imagine displaying photos and video captured from multiple mobile devices instantly on your PC.   This means applications written for one device can now have experiences that bridge devices.

More Android on Intel was shown.  We saw a Medfield based Android tablet running Honeycomb. And we learned of a partnership with Google, that will ensure Intel chips will not only run Android but all future Android OSs will be optimized for Intel.  It was then revealed to us that the phone used in the Pair & Share demo was Android running a Medfield processor.

Android* 3.2 on Intel® Architecture [Intel, Oct 19, 2011]

This article will provide a brief summary of the Android* 3.2 operating system platform on Intel® Architecture. Intel® Atom™ based devices create a powerful platform to develop high performance applications using exclusive features found only on Intel® Architecture-based devices.

The 32nm platform Medfield processor based tablet coming in 2012 will deliver enhanced performance and lower power consumption.

Highlights of Intel Executive Vice President Sean Maloney’s opening keynote @Computex 2011 [channelintel, June 2, 2011]

Updates on “Medfield,” (only [upto 00:48] ! ) Intel’s first purpose-built 32nm platform for smartphones and tablets. “Medfield” has been optimized for both low power and high performance and will deliver long use-time, rich media and gaming, and advanced imaging capabilities. According to Maloney: “Customers are evaluating the Medfield designs now. We expect products shipping in the next 6 to 9 months, based on these fully functional Medfield designs”.

Intel’s Maloney Talks Mobile Growth, Industry Opportunities at Computex [May 30, 2011]

Maloney also discussed “Medfield,” Intel’s first purpose-built 32nm platform for smartphones and tablets.  “Medfield” has been optimized for both low power and high performance and will deliver long use-time, rich media and gaming, and advanced imaging capabilities. To illustrate this point in tablets, Intel showcased a “Medfield” design running Google Android* 3.0 (“Honeycomb”) for the first time. In production later this year, the platform will enable sub-9mm designs that weigh less than 1.5 pounds for tablet designs in market the first half of 2012. It will support a range of operating systems including Android and MeeGo.

Computing Becomes More Personal at Computex [June 7, 2011]

the Netbook and Tablet Group at Intel, made some exciting disclosures to help meet the varied expectations of the companion device market. One of those was “Keeley Lake,” a brand new, convertible design based on the upcoming Atom netbook platform, “Cedar Trail.”  With its swivel and fold monitor design, “Keeley Lake” packs in the power and performance of a netbook and the functionality of a tablet.

It will have more than 10 hours of battery life and will include Rapid Start, Smart Connect and Intel Wireless Display for displaying content on TVs and PC Synch.

Intel also highlighted “Medfield,” its first purpose-built 32nm platform for smartphones and tablets. Optimized for low power, high performance and longer use-time, these processors will be in production later this year and you can see “Medfield”-based tablets out in the market in the first half of 2012.

Both “Keeley Lake” and “Medfield” will support a range of operating systems including Windows, Google Android and MeeGo.

Intel Expands Mobile Computing with New Silicon, Software and Connectivity Capabilities [Intel press release, Feb 14, 2011]

Expanding upon Intel’s silicon capabilities, the company announced that it is sampling its 32nm “Medfield” smart phone chip with customers. “Medfield” is scheduled for introduction this year and will extend the performance benefits of Intel architecture into a low-power solution specifically designed for the smart phone market segment.

Financial Times was reporting from the Barclay’s Capital event as Intel inside 35 tablets, no phone till H2 2011 [Dec 8, 2010]

Mr Otellini said the phone game represented a marathon not a sprint for Intel. It was tackling issues of certification, modem integration and the telecoms software stack. Its smartphone processor codenamed Medfield was currently being debugged for shipment in 2011 and 2012, he added.

Medfield is the successor to the Moorestown chip, launched in May, which still does not match the low-power capabilities of Arm-based phone processors and has not appeared in any smartphones this year, despite Intel’s high hopes expressed at the CES show in January.

Clover Trail-W


1 Comment

  1. […] New Mobile and Communications Group (MCG) at Intel [Dec 16 – 30, […]

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