Intel Ships Samples Of Medfield Smartphone Chip - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Intel Ships Samples Of Medfield Smartphone Chip

Mounting a serious challenge to ARM, Intel plans to begin mass production of the 32-nm processor later this year.

Intel says it has started production of its Medfield smartphone processor and is sending samples to phone manufacturers.

The chipmaker made the announcement Tuesday at the Mobile World Congress, where it also introduced mobile communications chips for phones. Medfield is Intel's second smartphone processor. The first, Moorestown, did not have much success in the market due to power consumption too high for smartphones. Medfield and Moorestown are based on Intel's Atom processor.

Medfield, which is built on the company's latest 32-nanometer manufacturing process, is expected to be better equipped for smartphones. Smaller in size and consuming less power than the 45-nm Moorestown, the new chip is expected to enter mass production later in the year. Intel has said Medfield-powered smartphones will hit the market this year. The company has not named the manufacturers.

Intel dominates the processor market for PCs, but is playing catch up in the smartphone market, which is ruled today by processors based on the designs of ARM Holdings in the U.K. ARM processors are used by all the major smartphone makers, including Apple, Samsung, LG, HTC, Research In Motion, and others.

Intel's biggest advantage over ARM is in manufacturing. Intel is expected to move to a 22-nm manufacturing process next year, which is when ARM is headed to where Intel is today -- 32 nm. Size matters because reducing the size of circuitry on a chip boosts performance and lowers power consumption. Therefore, Intel in time could produce a higher performing chip that's less expensive than ARM's. But to do that, some analysts believe, Intel may have to abandon its legacy x86 microarchitecture. In the meantime, ARM is expected to stay on top at least this year and next year.

Intel also announced at MWC that it would start shipping samples in the second half of the year of a low-power multi-mode communications chip. The new product will support LTE, a fourth generation, high-speed network technology currently being deployed by carriers, as well as older 3G and 2G technologies. Intel expects to make the chip widely available in the second half of next year.

The LTE chip stems from Intel's acquisition last month of Infineon Technologies' Wireless Solutions business. Intel's strengths in communications before the acquisition was in Wi-Fi and 4G WiMax chips. The acquisition added 2G, 3G and 4G LTE technologies.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Commentary
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Slideshows
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
Slideshows
Flash Poll