Intel To Launch Medfield Smartphone Processors, Invest In Mobile Platforms

Intel on Monday at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona began sampling its upcoming 32-nm smartphone processors, code-named Medfield, as part of an aggressive push to have Intel technology pervade the mobile handheld device market.

Intel said it has began offering samples of its Medfield chips, which are designed specifically for handhelds based on a 32-nm fabrication process, to prospective customers. The chipmaker plans to bring Medfield to market later this year, as part of an effort to capture new market segments and power smart devices in emerging categories such as tablets, cars and smart TVs.

’The mobile Internet, with all of its complexity, presents tremendous opportunity and growth prospects for the industry at large,’ said Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Ultra Mobility Group, in a statement. ’Through these efforts and others still to come, Intel is bringing the full weight of its resources, technology investment and the economics of Moore’s Law to drive down costs and power requirements for new markets, while delivering the leading-edge performance that the industry has come to expect from us.’

As part of its broad efforts in mobile technology, Intel at MWC said it is developing new phone radio chips and will, by the second half of 2011, offer support for high-speed network connectivity including LTE on its existing technology. In addition, Intel offered details regarding a series of investments in mobile and software development companies as well as the acquisition of Silicon Hive, a developer of still imaging and multimedia video processing technology.

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Intel at the event demonstrated an upcoming MeeGo OS-based tablet running a new user interface available from Intel's AppUp Developer Program that uses panels to display information intuitively. Intel touted the momentum around the open-source platform and said several OEMs will join MeeGo, which Intel says already has had multiple code releases ranging from netbooks to handsets. Intel, which has jointly invested in MeeGo with Nokia, last week expressed disappointment with Nokia's decision to adopt Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 .

Intel also showed off new MeeGo and AppUp software development tools and other programs allowing developers to port and write new applications, then tune and publish them to the Intel AppUp center faster than before. Intel also launched a worldwide university program, an Application labs program and several porting resources aimed at developers using MeeGo and AppUp software.

Next: Intel Invests $26 Million In Mobile, Software

Nevertheless, MeeGo is only part of Intel's multiplatform strategy for capturing the mobile PC segment currently dominated by British chipmaker ARM. Intel at MWC said a device running Google's open-source Android platform powered by Intel Atom-based processors will come to market later this year.

Intel also invested approximately $26 million toward open-source mobile software provider Borqs, location-based mapping platform and tools provider Cloud Made, image sensor vendor InVisage, open-source online video platform Kaltura, online authentication provider SecureKey Technologies, and unified communications and collaboration software company Vision OSS Solutions.

Intel at MWC said it has invested an undisclosed amount in Near Field Communication, with the goal of allowing customers to use their mobile phones to pay for items at retail counters.