We never stop smiling at the irony around here. That the world’s leading chip and OS vendors have almost no share of the fastest growing technology markets is quite amazing. It’s possible that with all of their combined resources, Wintel can pull mobile back and control it – or it could be that the moment has been lost. How much will Lenovo’s new launch impact that market? KitGuru signs up a short term contract to find out.
Back at the start of January, KitGuru reported that both Motorola and Lenovo were developing mobile phone solutions with an Intel processor for the first time.
Well it seems that Lenovo will win the race and deploy the K800 smartphone into the Chinese market before the end of May.
The challenge for Intel will centre on the fact that it is an Atom derivative called Medfield which powered the K800. Not everything in life is about size, but the fact that it is based on a 32nm part – while the world plus dog is moving to 25, 22 and 20nm – gives you an idea of where it is in the overall cycle of life.
Example? Well, Intel’s desktop move from Sandybridge to Ivy Bridge includes a die shrink and the application of 3D transistors. According to Intel, the combination of all its efforts on the new CPU will mean that power consumption could be halved in certain areas. Apply that to mobile devices and, surely, you have a daunting doubt against using 32nm Atoms.
Not only is Medfield using a larger process than you might have expected, it’s also worth noting that Intel’s original roadmap called for this technology to be deployed with mobile devices in 2011 – and we’re now almost half way through 2012.
Given that both IBM and Samsung have shown off 14nm wafers, we know that this is exactly where Intel wants to be with its tri-gate manufacturing process. The winner, according to Otellini and co, will be the unimaginatively named Intel Atom Z2580. As well as sensible amounts of regular processor power, Intel is also aiming to be lite on the volts needed for LTE.
KitGuru says: We wish Intel luck, but you only have to look at the rumours surrounding the Atom Z2580 to understand where Intel REALLY wants to be. Question is, how far will the market have moved on by the time the chip giant is ready to mount a serious challenge in 2 years or so?
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