Intel bets on a sangam of phone and tablet

08th May 2014
Intel bets on a sangam of phone and tablet
Media persons size up the new devices at the Intel Mobility Roadshow in Bangalore, May 8 2014. Left : Intel's Asia-Pac Software & Services director Narendra Bhandari holds up the miniscule Merrifield chip which will fuel many upcoming Tablet families ( Photos: IndiaTechOnline)

Bangalore, May 8, 2014:  Intel is placing its bets on customers  demanding a new form  factor -- larger than the largest smartphone, smaller than the smallest  tablet -- with the device  providing  a combo of both functions. 'Two in one' is the name of the portability game and the computing devices leader  is happy to encourage the trend with   few choice interventions of its own:
-  a gradual lurch  towards 64-bit rather 32-bit  processors
- the ability to  handle  and switch between two operating systems
- advanced graphics and video  muscle for consumer apps that were till recently the preserve of imaging professionals
- and a measured  roadmap to   provide almost day-long usage from a fully charged battery.
At its annual Mobility Roadshow in India's own Silicon  capital today,  Narendra Bhandari, Director-Software and Services group, Intel Asia Pacific and Japan, spelt out the  company's  chip architecture roadmap that was going to make all this happen.
The upcoming 2.13GHz Intel Atom processor Z3480 (“Merrifield”) -- a 64-bit ready system-on-a-chip -- offers the ideal combination of fast, smart performance and long battery life for Android smartphones and tablets, Bhandari said.
Also  coming  in the second half of this year is the next-generation 64-bit Intel Atom processor, code-named “Moorefield”  with two additional Intel architecture (IA) cores for up to 2.3GHz of compute performance, an enhanced Graphical Processor Unit,  optimized for  4G LTE  environments.
While Intel seemed to recognize and   cater for the overwhelming presence of Android-based device in the handheld and portable arena, it seems also to be subtly  pushing the claims of Windows8  as the preferred or at least the "stepney" OS on  2-in-1 phone-tablets. The Roadshow  showcased "Intel Inside"  phablets and tablets from  many leading  makers -- Dell, Lenovo, Acer, HP, Panasonic, ASUS -- many of which offered Windows  as the primary OS.
"Over 90 new designs are coming to market this year", Bhandari added, "Asia-Pacific already accounts  for 15 percent of the global demand for  mobile devices and Indian demand  represents 16 percent of Asia Pac minus China".
Interestingly the company  is working with Foxconn -- largely known as a leader in  contract manufacturing  -- to  create ready-to-use reference designs for  new-gen phablets and tablets based on Intel  chip sets...  a canny move to  embrace the  huge China technology ecosystem  where hundreds of  makers roll out  portable compute-and- communicate devices to very similar specs and features -- Anand Parthasarathy