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Intel CEO says first Atom-based phone due late this week

updated 06:30 pm EDT, Tue April 17, 2012

Intel hints first phone product closer

Intel CEO Paul Otellini during a call discussing his company's latest results revealed that the first phone with one of its company's processors would at last be shipping this week. The executive didn't name the specific phone, but it may be the Lenovo K800, which had originally been promised for May. Other candidates could include the Orange Santa Clara or its near-identical cousin, the Lava Xolo X900.

All three run on Intel's new 1.6GHz, Atom Z2460, the first chip from Intel's low-power Medfield platform. The K800 is the most advanced and should ship with Android 4.0, while the other two run Android 2.3. Lenovo's hardware also gets a larger, 4.5-inch, 720p display where the other two have four-inch, 600x1024 (600p) screens. All three have eight-megapixel cameras fast enough to shoot a burst at 10 frames per second.

For Intel, the first shipments of Atom-powered phones mark the end to years of struggles to make a feasible phone chip. All its earlier parts were too big and too energy-hungry to compete against ARM and effectively conceded both the smartphone and tablet spaces to the companies that used it, like Apple and Samsung. It's often thought that Intel's short-lived UMPC (ultra mobile PC) design, which usually included a five- to seven-inch screen, was an attempt to shoehorn Intel-based hardware into any kind of mobile form factor before it was truly ready.

Medfield not only performs about as well as comparable ARM chips but matches their battery life. At times, it's visibly faster in areas such as web browsing, where Intel's strength in JavaScript comes through.





By Electronista Staff
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