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Mobile World Congress 2012: Nokia, Asus, Intel, Samsung, And LG

Intel's Medfield Briefing

Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, gave an interesting presentation to a small group during which he noted a few shortcomings in the way we currently think about mobile computing. After a long campaign to get all of us PC enthusiasts thinking that there's more to performance than clock rate, we're now all about the number of cores in given design. When it comes to the highly embedded/mobile market, though, concerns about power mean the total performance picture is more important than high clocks or very parallelized architectures.

So far, early reference hardware seems to demonstrate Intel's alacrity in webpage rendering performance, JavaScript, and impressive power consumption. Based on our own experiences with Orange's Medfield-based smartphone, the hardware seems plenty responsive. Acceptance is a gradual process, though. As of now, there are only four vendors leveraging Intel's platform.

Intel isn't the incumbent in this segment, but the company knows that already. Otellini said that he's taking the long view to mobility, getting all of the company's proverbial ducks in a row before touting solutions. Without question, the company's advantage here is manufacturing and the ability to execute on effective processor architectures, points we made in Mobile: Intel Will Overtake Qualcomm In Three Years.

Down the road, Intel plans to segment its smartphone SoCs into performance-oriented and low-cost tiers. Although the company isn't going to make its mark on the mobile landscape overnight, it has all of the puzzle pieces to make a significant difference over the next two years.