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Intel unveils its Android-powered Medfield Smartphone & Tablet

Computer chipset maker, Intel is making a big come back into the smartphone market. The chipset giant has just unveiled its latest Medfield smartphone and tablet reference designs.

Intel’s Medfield is the latest in its “Atom” line of mobile chips. It will compete with ARM licensees like NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments.

The phone prototype seen by Technology Review was similar in dimensions to the iPhone 4 but noticeably lighter, probably because the case was made with more plastic and less glass and metal. It was running Android Gingerbread where else the Tablet was running Ice Cream Sandwich.

According to MIT’s Technology Review, “The phone was powerful and pleasing to use, on a par with the latest iPhone and Android handsets. It could play Blu-Ray-quality video and stream it to a TV if desired; Web browsing was smooth and fast…..Intel has built circuits into the Medfield chip specifically to speed up Android apps and Web browsing,”.

Based on the reference designs, both devices were able to capture 8 megapixel images at a rate of 15 fps.

Talking about history, Intel exited the mobile market in June 2006 when it sold off its XScale PXA mobile processor assets to Marvell Technology Group for an estimated $600 million in cash. However it made a come back with Intel Atom sometime 2008 and dominated the netbook market, unfortunately, till today Intel barely has any market share in the mobile phone market. Early this year, Intel acquired the mobile phone business of German-based Infineon Technologies AG. It also acquired mobile chipet maker Silicon Hive signaling its seriousness in the smartphone business.

Intel also worked with Nokia to develop a mobile operating system called MeeGo. However the future of this project in currently unknown since Nokia has signed a deal with Microsoft to use Windows Phone 7 instead.

The first generation Medfield-based devices are expected to be announced in the first half of 2012.

[Source]– Technology Review

About Kugan

Kugan is the founder of MalaysianWireless. He has been observing the mobile industry since 2003. Connect with him on Twitter: @scamboy