Intel today announced a number of advancements to its mobile portfolio across a broad spectrum of silicon, software and connectivity, including the sampling of "Medfield," the company's 32nm phone chip.
The company also announced accelerated LTE platforms, a new MeeGo tablet user experience, the acquisition of Silicon Hive, and several new mobile investments and software development tools.
"The mobile Internet, with all of its complexity, presents tremendous opportunity and growth prospects for the industry at large," said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the company's Ultra Mobility Group. "Through these efforts and others still to come, Intel is bringing the full weight of its resources, technology investment and the economics of Moore's Law to drive down costs and power requirements for new markets, while delivering the leading-edge performance that the industry has come to expect from us."
Multi-Comms and Silicon
With the recent acquisition of Infineon AG's Wireless Solution Business now closed, Intel outlined its strategy to deliver a smart, multi-communication architecture to address varying customer and service provider needs around the world, such as network capacity, application, device, cost and end-user experience with solutions from WiFi to LTE.
Intel announced that Intel Mobile Communications (IMC) will sample its first compact, low-power multi-mode (LTE/3G/2G), global LTE solution in the second half of the year with broad market availability for devices in the second half of 2012. IMC is also now shipping the world?s smallest, fully integrated HSPA+ solution with true 21 Mbps downlink and 11.5 Mbps in uplink for small form factor devices, and announced a new platform supporting Dual-SIM Dual-Standby (DSDS) operation for the emerging Dual SIM market.
Expanding upon Intel's silicon capabilities, the company announced that it is sampling its 32nm "Medfield" smart phone chip with its customers. "Medfield" is scheduled for introduction this year and will extend the performance benefits of Intel architecture into a low-power solution specifically designed for the smart phone market segment.
Further building on these silicon capabilities, the company announced the acquisition of Silicon Hive, an Intel Capital portfolio company, which brings better still imaging and multimedia video processor technology, compilers and software tools to its growing Atom processor portfolio. The Silicon Hive capabilities will aid in the delivery of more differentiated Atom-processor based SoCs as multimedia and imaging grow in importance across the mobile smart device segments.
Intel also announced a new development by its researchers in radio frequency (RF) integration with new process technology that will make it possible to put three chips of a typical RF chipset on a single chip. Using efficient transistor, Intel researchers are able to achieve lower power and faster radio components compared to what is possible today. By taking advantage of Moore?s Law, the research could mean better power, performance and reduced costs for future SoC designs.
Finally, an efficient and flexible access network is essential to continue the evolution of the mobile Internet and enable network operators to deliver services faster and cost effectively expand network capacity with demand. Building on this, Intel, KT and Samsung announced collaborative plans to demonstrate live-air LTE solutions using the Intel architecture-based Cloud Communications Center (CCC). The effort is designed to expand data traffic capacity and network flexibility while reducing an operator's total cost for network deployment and operation.
Intel demonstrated a new MeeGo tablet user experience to be made available through the Intel AppUp Developer Program. The MeeGo tablet user experience features an object-oriented interface with panels to display content and contacts - all geared to give consumers fingertip access to their digital life: social networks, people, videos and photos.
The new MeeGo tablet interface includes a grid of icons, the application grid in the new MeeGo UX . Objects, not applications, are the real story of the MeeGo UX. An object might be a sound clip, a video, a message from one of your friends in any number of formats, a calendar item, or a place. A simple tap on the object invokes the default application associated with that object, very often with far fewer navigational steps than it would take to launch an application to do the same task through an application grid. For example, consider the task of playing a video. With the MeeGo UX, one taps the video and it plays. It's also possible to go to the application grid, find the video player, open it with a tap, and then use the player to navigate to the video, finally selecting it for playing.
The most visible manifestation of the MeeGo OS user experience is the collection of panels that organize content and other objects. Panels include objects of similar type. For example, "My Friends" may include messages from any number of applications, grouped together simply because they are all messages. Vertical swipe gestures reveal more messages. Horizontal swipes reveal panels of different types. The screen of a large tablet may allow for three panels viewed in parallel, while a small tablet could allow a user to view two panels at a time. The development preview implementation suggests one way of organizing content and contacts into panels, but in production devices this could be an area for differentiation among OSVs and device manufacturers.
The panel metaphor extends to the built-in applications for the MeeGo open source UX, lending a consistent interface throughout. For example, the touch-enabled browser for tablets uses panels for organizing open sites, bookmarks, and recently visited sites. Objects will frequently be operable by more than one application. For example, a photo can be viewed or shared. A tap on a thumbnail displays the expanded photo. A press-and-hold gesture brings up a menu: view the photo or share it? These contextual menus will be familiar to computer users as analogous to a right click of the mouse, but they require neither a mouse nor any complicated gestures. Gestures can be added by OSVs or OEMs to differentiate their implementations.
In addition, Intel announced new MeeGo and AppUp software development tools and other programs to help developers port, write new applications, and tune and publish to the Intel AppUp center more quickly. The programs include developer access to software development platforms, new tools and other expansions such as a worldwide university program, an Application labs program and porting resources.
Building on Intel's support of multiple operating systems, the company announced its intent to deliver the industry?s fastest performance on open source Android with Intel Atom processor-based devices running Gingerbread and Honeycomb, slated to come to market this year.