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With its new Atom platform, Moorestown, Intel has made a lot of exciting claims and hinted at significant changes in our computing future. All good stuff, but we need more answers. To find them, we sat down with Intel’s godfather of ultra-mobility.
Last month, we took a deep dive into Intel’s new Moorestown platform for ultramobile devices, the Atom Z6xx processor (Linfield), and Intel Platform Controller Hub MP20 (Langwell). We described some of the performance you could expect to see on Moorestown devices. Now, you can see it in action courtesy of a Computex video shown here.
While it’s fun to sit around and poke jabs like, “Yeah, but can it play...?” the point is that Moorestown has thrown down the performance gauntlet for the rest of the ultraportable industry. Before Centrino, we had low-power notebooks and wireless networking. But with Centrino, suddenly there was a unified vision that propelled that market segment forward at a much faster rate—fortunately for buyers. While Intel hasn’t made a big branding push in handsets and tablets (yet), the technical underpinnings of such a branded platform are now in place. The functionality of these devices is about to take a significant leap.
Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar arrived at Intel in 1993 as “the P6 Multiprocessor architect.” He’s known within Intel as the “father of Centrino” and perhaps the leading authority on Moorestown. Officially, he’s an Intel Fellow and director of UMG (Ultra Mobile Group) Platform Architecture for the Intel Architecture Group. If any one person in the world should be able to address deep-dive questions on Moorestown and the future of handheld computing, it should be Ticky. Intel granted us an hour with the master of ultramobility to learn what could be learned...
Tom's Hardware: Let’s start existentially. Why are we all here today? What is the meaning of Moorestown?
Ticky Thakkar: Our vision was to figure out how to put a computer into a smartphone, if you want to call it that—and we did. We have basically squeezed the computer into a smartphone. Now, why did we do that? We have a dream of having awesome computing capability inside the phone that delivers the real Internet just the same as on your PC. You should also have PC-like capability in that small form factor. We want to leverage the software capabilities the PC has and the performance you can get out of it, as well, like being able to download a real Web page in under six to eight seconds. That’s what users really expect. Being able to view the same Flash content as a PC so you’re not going to a different Web site to get an alternate version. We want to deliver an uncompromised experience in this kind of device.