updated 03:25 pm EST, Tue January 10, 2012
Atom-based smartphone reference design
Although Intel is focusing on ultrabooks this week at CES, the company also brought along a prototype Android handset referred to by the CPU code-name Medfield. Electronista had a chance to try out the Atom-based platform, which aims to compete with ARM-based hardware utilized by most Android smartphones.
Aesthetically, the Medfield reference hardware is rudimentary rather than bringing a flashy external design. This makes sense, considering that it is a developer platform that is not geared for end consumers.
The phone is powered by a 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 processor, which provides the same Hyper-Threading capabilities as it would in a tablet or notebook. We found the system to be responsive and comparable to other high-end ARM-based Android phones.
Interestingly enough, Intel showed the Medfield design running Gingerbread rather than the latest Ice Cream Sandwich builds. We expect the chip maker to upgrade the OS before the prototype arrives in developers' hands.
Intel has yet to announce availability details surrounding the reference hardware.