Intel Unveils Tablet And Smartphone With Upcoming Atom Chip13 Sep 2011
On September 13, at the Intel Developer Conference (IDF) 2011 event held in San Francisco, Intel has for the first time showed prototypes of devices - a tablet and a smartphone, running on Google's Android OS and the chip maker's upcoming Atom low-power chip, code-named Medfield.
At the IDF keynote speech given by CEO Paul Otellini, it was announced that Intel, the world's biggest chipmaker, and Google, whose Android OS has become the world's leading operating system for smartphones, will partner together in the mobile space - developing future releases of Android for smartphones and tablets.
Andy Rubin, Google’s senior vice president of mobile, was quoted in a press release as saying "We're going to collaborate very closely to make sure that Android is optimised to the best it possibly can be for the Intel Architecture (IA). Going forward, all future releases of Android will be optimised… From the kernel taking advantage of memory management and all the great features of these low power IAs, all the way up to multimedia and 3D graphics. Everything that’s part of the system on a chip today."
The tablet reportedly measures about 8.9 millimeters (0.3 inches) thick, has a 10.1-inch screen and runs on Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) and alpha software developed jointly by Google and Intel. The Intel Medfield smartphone, which was showed off by CEO Paul Otellini at IDF San Francisco, runs on Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).
The Intel-Google alliance in the mobile sphere assumes even more importance given Intel's increased competition with ARM, whose low-power processors are found in most smartphones and tablets. Intel is banking on Medfield tablets to prove it is improving on power consumption with its tablet and smartphone chips - currently it's low-power Atom processors are considered to be more power-hungry than ARM processors.
Steve Smith, vice president at Intel, said that the Medfield tablet is a reference design for device makers who want to launch tablets, although he didn't say when Medfield tablets would be released. He also added that Intel is currently optimizing the chips for tablets to balance power and performance.
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