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Intel's Medfield gains its first client... LG

by Alistair Lowe on 3 January 2012, 11:24

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), LG Electronics (066570.KS)

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Scheduled to exhibit at this year's CES trade-show on the 10th, LG Electronics has revealed that it will be manufacturing Intel's first Medfield-powered smartphones running the Google Android operating system.

This partnership with Intel is nothing new, LG at last year's CES demonstrated an Intel Atom-powered smartphone, however the device never saw the commercial light-of-day as the chip drew too much power, resulting in a bulky and inefficient slab. Suggestions have been raised that in a similar fashion, LG may simply be producing a reference design for the Medfield CPU, though if Intel's power claims for the new design ring true, no doubt LG and other manufacturers will look to CES and the impression from onlookers to help determine commercial viability of the product.

Certainly Medfield must have stepped a long way from the Atom CPU of last year, Intel integrated graphics have improved significantly, a reduction to 32nm production and tweaking specifically for the mobile platform, including integration of SoC components. Unlike last year, there's potential for real competitiveness and serious room for improvement given the power-efficient claims of Intel's upcoming 22nm 3D Tri-Gate production process. We have a hunch that this year's Medfield launch may not be quite the flop of last year's, provided Intel can live-up to its promises of reduced power consumption.

After CES, we'll await eagerly to see exactly how ARM licensees respond to this new Intel threat.

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After CES, we'll await eagerly to see exactly how ARM licensees respond to this new Intel threat.

With LG making the reference device, I doubt they'll be quaking in their boots! The stock O2X setup drains the battery in less than 24 hours, so I can't see an Atom based version lasting too long without a huge and bulky battery.

That said, it didn't take long for the O2X to come down in price quite significantly, so this could be end up being a cheap way to get a full Windows 8 (with legacy apps support) smartphone … could be interesting after all :D