Intel may use the Consumer Electronics Show next month to finally get serious about making a splash in the mobile market. The company is expected to announce products running its Atom-based Medfield chipset.
The latest speculation about the chip giant's plans were aroused this week by an article posted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Technology Review, which scored hands-on time with a smartphone powered by Intel's Medfield and running the Ice Cream Sandwich of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform. "We expect products based on these to be announced in the first half of 2012," Stephen Smith, vice president of Intel's architecture group, told the Technology Review.
Intel has tried to crack the mobile market before, but has never really made a dent. The key this time is that Intel believes because it has a single system-on-a-chip with Medfield, it can adequately compete with offerings from the likes of Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Nvidia, Samsung and Texas Instruments and others using architecture from ARM Holdings. Google said this fall it was optimizing Android for use on ARM chipsets.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini, who is giving a keynote speech at CES Jan. 10, all but guaranteed a big splash at the trade show. "You'll see a number of Intel customers using the guts of this phone to go into the market in the first half of next year," Otellini said at a Credit Suisse investor conference last month. "And we'll have more announcements of that at CES."
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