At the Mobile World Congress event at Barcelona in February, Intel is expected to raise the curtains on a new smartphone platform along with new Atom processors based on 22nm and 14nm processes that feature lower power consumption, a report by Digitimes states.
The report states that handset component makers have informed them that these launches will be crucial to Intel in its competition with ARM in the global smartphone market.
The report notes, “Intel’s Medfield platform has been adopted by Orange and smartphone vendors including Lenovo and ZTE, India-based Lava International and Motorola Mobility, but Medfield smartphone shipments have so far been in low volumes, and the RAZR I, a 4.3-inch smartphone jointly launched by Motorola Mobility and Intel in October 2012, has not sold well, the sources said.”
Intel expected to showcase a new smartphone platform next year
The sources went on to inform Digitimes that Intel is unlikely to launch its own brand of smartphones as it does not have close ties with telecom carriers around the world. The report claims that Intel could cooperate with mobile telecom carriers in developing markets such as India and China to launch entry level smartphones. In the process, Intel could face strong competition from MediaTek and many China-based chip design houses, the report states.
Earlier this month, Intel revealed that India will see it developing smartphones based on its chips in partnership with local handset manufacturers. These handsets are expected to be priced at Rs 7,000 onwards. Elaborating upon its plans, Intel’s South Asia Managing Director, Sales and Marketing, Debjani Ghosh, stated that the touchscreen-based smartphones would run Android and are likely to hit the market by mid-2013. Ghosh, however, refused to divulge more information regarding its partners in this endeavour.
She added, “The first handset with Lava that we launched was a premium one. We learnt that it was important to have a portfolio and offer choice to the user. We will not have entry-level handsets but our smartphone range will be priced upwards of Rs 7,000.”
The Lava XOLO X900 was one of the first smartphones based on Intel’s Medfield chip. The X900 was launched in India back in April and the highlight of this phone was the new Medfield CPU from Intel, the Z2460. Based on the 32 nm fabrication process, the Z2460 SoC features a single core CPU running at 1.6 GHz, along with the usual Intel features such as HyperThreading and Burst Performance Technology (or TurboBoost). The graphics are taken care of by a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, which is clocked at 400 MHz. There’s also support for 1080p video playback and recording. Intel is banking heavily on its new Smart Idle Technology for delivering better battery life than its competitors. This feature allows the CPU core and the rest of the processor to idle while the OS is still functioning.
Here are some of the highlights of the Intel XOLO X900:
- 4.03-inch TFT LCD display with a resolution of 1024 x 600
- 3G, EDGE/GPRS, Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth, NFC
- 8 MP camera with AF, LED flash, and 1080p HD video recording
- 1.3 MP front camera
- 16 GB Internal memory