Atom in Smartphones Not Happening Until Late 2011

Posted by at 3:43 pm on December 8, 2010

Intel chief Paul Otellini revealed on Wednesday that smartphones running its processors won’t arrive until the second half of 2011. After his company promised phones might ship as soon as early 2011 with the Atom Z600, the CEO told those at a Barclays conference that the true smartphone-class chips, codenamed Medfield, is still having its bugs worked out and won’t be ready for most of next year.

Intel was mostly counting on a wave of tablets using its Oak Trail platform to keep its mobile business active. About 35 companies were using the new platform in the first half of 2011 or later. The CEO did say the devices wouldn’t just be limited to Windows 7 or Intel’s own MeeGo and would use Android 3.0 as well.

The news is another setback for Intel’s mobile aims. It has been aware that it faced a long-term battle with ARM, whose core chip designs are almost the only option for cell phone makers. Current Atom processors often consume too much power and space to be useful for phones and are currently relegated to netbooks and some tablets.

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