Pre-show CES buzz pegs LG as Intel phone partner

Jan 02, 2012 by Nancy Owano weblog

(PhysOrg.com) -- Techies flocking to this month’s CES in Las Vegas are growing curious over where and how the long awaited Intel “Medfield” system on a chip phones will be launched, but a report in The Korea Times offers more than a strong clue. According to the news report, LG Electronics will be the manufacturers to launch the first Android smartphone running on an Intel chip. The product may go on sale in March this year.

The partnership offers a chance to take on mobile device rivals and offers Intel the opportunity to take on its processor rivals AMD, the mobile frontrunners.

Intel and smartphone are two words that do not easily pair in consumer minds. In fact, Intel and mobile have been strange bedfellows as well, as AMD has had a larger share of the mobile market.

In Korea alone, AMD’s Korean unit more than doubled revenue last year compared with the previous year. LG’s rival Samsung adopted AMD’s processor technology for its notebooks further boosting AMD. IDC data show that AMD had 7 percent of the Korean market as of November 2011, up from 4 percent in 2010.

Intel has plans to strengthen its future in phones and tablets with its latest mobile chip, Medfield. While Intel may be a late mobile chip player, tests by MIT’s Technology Review indicate that impressive gains are in store for Intel. The tests resulted in substantial benchmark comparison data against NVIDIA’s Tegra 2 and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon MSM8260 SoCs.

The Medfield chip, departing from Intel’s previous designs, deploys the “system on a chip” method. Rather than splitting tasks between multiple chips, the system on a chip approach is promoted as working more efficiently by consolidating all functions onto a single chip.

It’s an important step for Intel because the reduction in power consumption with this method means more drawing power as a mobile device solution.

Intel executives are banking on Medfield in gaining on market awareness as a great chip to have in a mobile device.

This will actually be a second attempt on the part of LG Electronics and Intel to partner in trying to market a smartphone-that can stir up some excitement in the marketplace. Their first attempt fizzled.

At last year’s CES, a handset device made by LG and powered by Intel drew interest but the two powers never did commercialize the phone on display. The LG phone showcased at the CES 2011 ran Intel’s Atom Moorestown x86 architecture.

This time around, if pre-show reports prove true, then the latest LG-Intel launch could carry considerable weight.

Lee Hee-sung, Intel’s Korea chief, told The Korea Times that ’s chief executive Paul Otellini will release the LG Android at the CES event.

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