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.