x86 Everywhere: Intel Announces Medfield Phones

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Introduction

After years of work and a few false starts, Intel is finally ready to take the plunge into the smartphone market. At the CES keynote tonight, the CPU giant is officially launching Medfield, the 32nm smartphone SoC the company has built to take it into the next generation of smartphones (and a few tablets). The chip, now officially named the Atom Z2460, is ready for prime time.



We visited Intel HQ in December and were briefed on the next-generation phone and what Intel expects it to do. After Moorestown's disappointing performance in the space, the CPU giant is keen to put its best foot forward, and our time with the company reflected that. Intel isn't trying to position Medfield as an ARM-crusher, but as a solution that's more than capable of running with the current pack of hardware.


The phone, in-hand. This shot gives a much better demonstration of its size.

Unlike Moorestown, which debuted with a bang, an LG-designed phone, and went nowhere thereafter, Medfield has solid design wins behind it, by which we mean products that will definitely be coming to market. Motorola and Lenovo are both announcing products today. Lenovo has its K800, a device intended for the Chinese market and sold by China Unicom, while Motorola has announced a multi-part deal with Intel for smartphone and tablets.

Details are still a bit sketchy on Moto's hardware, but the company expects to ship phones by this summer, with a tablet following later. These announcements aren't likely to be isolated events, either; we're likely to hear about more products at Mobile World Congress next month.

So what's inside the new chip? Let's have a look.
 

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