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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    Ironic isn't it that perhaps the most successful chip maker/designer for PC/laptops would have such trouble breaking into the world of mobile and handhelds. It's an interesting read. I hope it works out for them, the more firms working on chip design the fast tech will grow and evolve.

    Take care,


    Intel smartphones are on the way--again
    by Brooke Crothers, March 25, 2011 4:00 AM PDT

    Intel smartphones are on the way--again | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog - CNET News

    Intel is getting ready to make a long-belated entry into the smartphone market with a new-and-improved chip. But the usual questions linger.

    A much-ballyhooed Intel-based phone from LG never materialized. Will one this time around?

    The most obvious ones are: Will it appear in a phone that is groundbreaking enough to entice buyers? And will this finally usher the world's largest chipmaker into one of the world's largest chip markets?

    The answers are hard to come by--Intel is saying little about the chip, due later this year, or about customers at this point--though the trends are clear. Market researcher IDC said in February that vendors shipped about 101 million smartphones during the fourth quarter of 2010, surpassing, for the first time, the 92 million PCs shipped during the same period.

    But Intel's reticence is understandable: it doesn't want to announce the chip without real phones in tow. Its current version of a chip slated for smartphones ("Moorestown") never found any top-tier takers in the phone industry, despite promises in 2009 that devices were in the works.

    Remember the LG phone that was preannounced two years ago? And that never appeared? Most people don't, but Intel and its rivals do. And that's a mistake Intel doesn't want to repeat. And that may also have been one of the contributing factors to this week's departure of the executive who headed up Intel's smartphone chip business.

    "They understand the boy-who-cried-wolf reputation [they've incurred], so they are really trying to coordinate chip announcements and [phone maker] announcements so they'll be taken seriously," said Mike Feibus, principal analyst at TechKnowledge Strategies, a marketing research firm.

    The description Intel currently provides of the chip is only about 30 words. "Medfield is Intel's smartphone chip manufactured on the company's leading-edge 32 [nanometer manufacturing] technology. It will deliver high performance and competitive low power."

    That vague description could imply a lot, however. Though Intel has not yet succeeded in making the kind of ultra-power-efficient chips required for smartphones, the company is arguably the world's premier chip manufacturer and building a low-power but very powerful processor is certainly a feat it's capable of. Competitors like Nvidia--whose chips currently power high-end smartphones from LG and Motorola--and Qualcomm do not make their own silicon and must compete to get silicon from the same manufacturing source.

    Important aspects of the silicon are the same, too. For example, the core of Nvidia's chip--based on a design from U.K.-based ARM--is essentially identical to ARM designs now being offered by rivals like Texas Instruments or Qualcomm.

    While this provides standardization for Android phone makers, it provides little wiggle room for chip differentiation. That's not the case for Intel's chip, which uses a proprietary in-house design built with in-house manufacturing facilities.

    "Moving the smartphone lineup to their leading-edge process plays a big role in making Medfield competitive," said Feibus.

    But others have doubts about how serious Intel is about chip designs in this area and how willing it is to tap into the meat of its most cutting-edge manufacturing tech, which is allocated mostly to its much more lucrative laptop PC silicon--a market it comfortably dominates with little competition.

    "In order to be competitive, Medfield should be 22 nanometer," said Linley Gwennap, principal analyst at chip consulting firm The Linley Group, referring to Intel's most advanced manufacturing tech, which is due later this year.

    "Intel's going to be doing 22 nanometer PC products at the end of this year [but] they're not using their leading edge technology on the [Medfield] stuff," said Gwennap.

    Another question is whether Intel will immediately crank out a dual-core processor--a specification that has become de rigeur for high-end smartphones from Motorola and is expected for upcoming Apple iPhones. "They're focusing on cutting power in this release (Medfield). So it's going to be hard for them to do anything that increases power," added Gwennap, who thinks it will be single core initially.

    And Intel is still a long way from becoming a well-rounded phone chip supplier like Qualcomm, which supplies the entire gamut of phone chips, from the most pedestrian feature phones to the slickest smartphones and tablets. Though the wireless tech Intel acquired this year from Infineon should help it compete against cell phone chip stalwarts, it provides little more than parity.

    Finally, let's not forget that Intel doesn't make the end product. Companies like LG--which is rumored to have a Medfield product in the works--do. And they are the final arbiters of the phone's design and interface, the two features that consumers key in on.

    Medfield-based phones are expected midyear. Which means by the end of this year we should know whether Intel is in the running to be a major manufacturer of mobile phone chips or will remain for the foreseeable future what it has always been: PC processor supplier to the world.

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  2.    #2  


    Take care,


    Intel Says Smartphones to Be on Sale Early in 2012

    By REUTERS, May 17, 2011

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Smartphones using Intel's mobile processors will go on sale early next year and the world's biggest chipmaker is also on track with processors for tablets, Chief Executive Paul Otellini said on Tuesday.

    Intel has failed so far get its silicon into smartphones and tablets, a red-hot market dominated by chips designed with battery-friendly technology from Britain's ARM Holdings.

    But Intel is rushing to adapt its architecture, originally made with PCs in mind, for mobile devices.

    "You'll see the first Intel-based phones in the market in the first part of next year," Otellini said at an annual investor day conference in Santa Clara, California.

    In April, Intel introduced a new processor for tablet computers in a bid to stake out territory in that market.

    Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said Intel's current quarter is on track.

    (Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Tim Dobbyn)
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  3.    #3  
    Hi all,

    FYI. Please see the link for more info.

    Take care,


    Intel Chief Says Doesn't Need ARM for Mobile Chips

    By REUTERS, May 17, 2011

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Intel's chief executive rejected speculation the world's largest chipmaker might adopt rival ARM Holdings' technology to build mobile chips and said smartphones using its silicon are about a year away.

    Intel has failed so far to get its processors into smartphones and tablets, a red-hot market where chips designed with battery-friendly technology from Britain's ARM Holdings are quickly becoming a standard.

    Some experts say Intel's architecture, originally aimed at PCs, is inherently tough to adapt to make mobile chips and that Intel should license ARM's technology, a suggestion that Chief Executive Paul Otellini rejected at his company's annual investor event in Santa Clara, California.

    "There's no advantage going in there, we'd be beholden to someone else, beholden to ARM. We'd pay royalties to them so it would lower the overall profits," Otellini said. "I think we can do a better."

    Intel executives also said consumers in China and other emerging markets who are buying personal computers for the first time are driving healthy growth in the company's core business.

    Otellini reaffirmed his expectation that PC unit sales will increase in the "low-double digits" percent this year.

    Shares of Intel have surged about 19 percent since the company's record quarterly earnings handily beat expectations on April 19.

    But investors remain concerned about PC sales and industry heavyweight Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday slashed its full-year outlook.

    Intel's stock closed down 0.38 percent at $23.55.


    Intel, whose chips are the brains in 80 percent of the world's PCs, is rushing to improve the power consumption of its mobile processors with new chips for tablets and smartphones.

    To put advanced mobile chips on the market more quickly, Otellini said Intel would increase the pace of implementing new manufacturing technologies. Intel currently adopts new manufacturing technology every two years.

    This month, Intel took the wraps off next-generation technology that crams more transistors onto microchips, betting it will eventually become a significant advantage in tablets and smartphones, where Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and Nvidia are key players and use ARM.

    Intel claims the "3D" new manufacturing process delivers as much as a 37 percent jump in performance while consuming less electricity -- a key ARM selling point.

    "To be fair, process technology is just one important element of winning for Intel, but it is a major advantage and one we suspect the Street is underestimating," Raymond James analyst Hans Mosesmann said in a note to clients.

    ARM Chief Executive Warren East told the Reuters Technology Summit on Tuesday that Intel's move to 3D technology would not affect plans by ARM's partners to manufacture smaller, more powerful chips.
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group

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