updated 08:40 am EDT, Mon September 24, 2012
Intel set for LTE mobile device support from late 2012
Intel has confirmed with TechCrunch that it is currently prepping a dual-core Medfield-class Atom processor for mobile devices including smartphones. The new chip will also support LTE where currently its only smartphone processor shipping in handsets is only 3G-capable. Some speculate that it has been the lack of LTE support that has seen 'Intel Inside' devices only shipping in Europe, China, Russia, India and South America to date, and not the U.S.
According to Intel Director of Product Marketing, Sumeet Syal, Intel-powered devices with LTE support will be shipping "later this year and ramping into 2013." While most of its ARM-based competitors are running multi-core chips in their products, Syal argues that its single-core Medfield processor still outperforms "a lot of the dual-core and quad-cores out there." Syal puts this down to the hyperthreading capability of the Medfield chips, which users more used to seeing implemented in Intel's desktop and notebook processors.
"You have to take a look at how many instructions per clock can the architecture handle -- our belief is that others are throwing cores at the issue in terms of getting more performance," Syal argues. Whether there is merit in Syal's argument, the reality is that Intel has been playing catch up in the mobile space ever since Apple launched the original ARM-powered iPhone in 2012. With dual-core Medfield processors with hyper-threading and LTE on the way, it looks as the though Intel might finally put itself on a competitive footing in the multi-billion dollar mobile space.