With all of today's Android smartphones and tablets powered by ARM-based processors from the likes of Nvidia, TI, and Qualcomm, Intel has been watching on the sidelines while its competitors dominate the mobile space. The company has been teasing its 32nm Medfield SoC (system on a chip) processor for around a year now, even demoing a Medfield tablet at its Intel Developer Forum in September. Now the company has given MIT's Technology Review a closer look at reference design phone and slate based on Medfield.
The phone that Technology Review saw (pictured above) was similar in size to an iPhone 4, but lighter because it was made of lightweight plastic. In the demo, the Gingerbread-running phone browsed the web smoothly and even played Blu-ray quality video. Intel Architecture Group VP Stephen Smith told Technology Review that Medfield has circuits built specifically to improve the speed of Android apps and web surfing.
Technology Review was particularly impressed with the phone's camera burst mode, which allowed it to capture images at a rate of 15 per second. Intel has built special image processing circuits into Medfield to enable faster photo and video captures.
TR was also able to spend a few moments with a reference design tablet running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich on the same Medfield chip. They said only that it was "noticeably nicer to use" than older Honeycomb tablets they'd tried.
We look forward to getting a closer look at Medfield devices as they become available in the near future. Stay tuned.