Intel reveals Medfield-powered phone and tablet prototypes, coming 1H 2012

By on December 21, 2011, 11:30 AM

Intel has revealed a prototype smartphone and tablet powered by the company’s upcoming 32nm Medfield processor. Medfield represents Intel’s first system on a chip (SoC) designed to be a serious contender against ARM chips in the mobile sector.

Intel sent an early “reference design” smartphone and tablet to Technology Review for evaluation. Both devices are being sent out to various manufacturers interested in building products around the new chip as a bit of inspiration. Companies are free to use as few or as many ideas from the reference design as they wish.

The sample phone was said to be similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, likely due to lighter building materials like plastic instead of metal and glass. The phone was running Android 3.0 Gingerbread and was capable of playing Blu-ray-quality video and stream it to a television. Browsing was smooth as well thanks to specially-designed circuits inside the chip to speed up performance on Android.

The phone’s camera included a burst mode that would snap 10 full-size 8MP images at a rate of 15 per second. This technology comes as a result of Intel’s acquisition of image-processing company Silicon Hive and could be useful for developers creating augmented reality apps.

The prototype tablet was powered by the same Medfield SoC but was running the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich OS. The unit had a larger screen than Apple’s iPad 2 but was similar in weight and thickness.

Intel expects products utilizing Medfield to be announced in the first half of 2012 but hinted that we could see some implementations as early as January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.




User Comments: 13

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Guest said:

OMG...

Apple will be in court 2mr0 over this...

bimboy56 said:

Looks like an i-pho... naaah, too tired for this.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

You know Intel is hurting with those layoff and now going into the tablet market. Netbook flop now doing tablets. That image above is too thick. 32-bit design again. They need to focus on speed and allowing owners to Root these tablets to tweak it. Not locked it down and sell it for overprice profits sharing. Just have to see how this plays out in 2012 and beyond that.

Guest said:

I see intel got smart .... they put more than the patented 1 button on their phone

Guest said:

Intel has no chance once Apple starts suing them like they sue everyone else with absurd claims "We invented the smartphone so you have no right to reinvent it, and your Medfield is just a blatant copy of our A5 chip that runs in the iPhone" Just remember Intel resistance is futile you will be sued sooner or later. LMFAO

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

tipstir said:

That image above is too thick. 32-bit design again.

If that is the headphone jack on the lower left of the image, then the reference design is thinner than my EVO 4G, so that's a win to me. Even then, people seem to be relatively happy with clunkier phones. Plus, if it really is lighter (and not suffer from excessive heat build up) then that's the real win there.

64-bit capable archetecture is not useful AT ALL for the kind of computation/memory requirements that the market this chip is being directed at. Both kind of a moot point to me.

They need to focus on speed and allowing owners to Root these tablets to tweak it. Not locked it down and sell it for overprice profits sharing.

...and was capable of playing Blu-ray-quality video and stream it to a television. Browsing was smooth as well thanks to specially-designed circuits inside the chip to speed up performance on Android.

The phone?s camera included a burst mode that would snap 10 full-size 8MP images at a rate of 15 per second...

Sounds better than most phones out there performance wise. Though, a burst mode on a phone camera.... not sure whether to shake my head in disbelief that they'd actually do it, or to laugh because it's really funny to me.

And the answer, clearly, is to develop a front end to Android that doesn't require jailbreaking/rooting to do what we want, with necessary built in warnings/checkboxes etc for confirmation that it's not their fault if we fud up our phones.

dedparrot said:

Intel support SOPA, I'm boycotting Intel

princeton princeton said:

tipstir said:

You know Intel is hurting with those layoff and now going into the tablet market. Netbook flop now doing tablets. That image above is too thick. 32-bit design again. They need to focus on speed and allowing owners to Root these tablets to tweak it. Not locked it down and sell it for overprice profits sharing. Just have to see how this plays out in 2012 and beyond that.

I don't even. This is a troll post right?

Guest said:

Wait till Apple sue them like they sue everyone else, then will be game over for Intel Medfield x86 Android Phones. Or even worse maybe till Intel manages to release the Medfield in 2012, Apple will already succeeded to ban all Android OS&phones then Intel will have the CPU but no OS to support it or no mobile phone that can integrate it since they will be all banned by Apple. After all that was the dream of Steve Jobs to destroy all Android eco-system phones+OS+processors that means destroying all other mobile phone makers besides Apple, destroying all other mobile OS'es besides iOS and destroying all other processor developers besides Apple, what a wonderful dream of a dead man this was. ROTFL

dotVezz said:

Wait, am I the only one that noticed this is running Gingerbread?

dotVezz said:

Also, doesn't everyone realize that Intel is NOT going to be manufacturing this? It's just a reference design for other manufacturers to look at and base their own designs on.

Guest said:

I dont get it why Apple's patent cases are such an issue? Am I the only one who knows that Microsoft earns a X% of revenue, every time an android or any other phone is sold; just because they hold its crucial patents? If Apple does it, whats the big deal???

Chazz said:

Guest said:

I dont get it why Apple's patent cases are such an issue? Am I the only one who knows that Microsoft earns a X% of revenue, every time an android or any other phone is sold; just because they hold its crucial patents? If Apple does it, whats the big deal???

Except, Microsoft deals directly with the OEMs. Instead of just nerd raging and taking then to court Microsoft works out a deal. Android violates patents, thats a fact, apple could've worked with them and gotten royalty fees, but they'd rather kill the OS. Microsoft just wants their justly due fees.

Motorola is the only OEM to not play ball so Microsoft took them to court and it looks like they are gonna have to pay up as well.

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