Intel used this week’s Consumer Electronics Show to announce “a number of advancements across its smartphone business,” where the company has for some time lagged rivals such as Qualcomm, Samsung and TI.
The silicon giant inked a “multi-year, multi-device” relationship with Motorola Mobility—previously a Qualcomm stronghold. Also in the works is a handset from Chinese IT giant Lenovo.
Intel said that “several smartphones based on the new Atom processor are expected to come to market in 2012.”
Motorola will offer Android devices using Intel chips which will begin to ship in the second half of 2012, while Lenovo is also readying an Android device powered by Intel for operator China Unicom.
In a statement, Intel also noted that the Motorola relationship covers tablet devices.
The processor company used the event to showcase its Atom Z2460 processor, formerly known as ‘Medfield,” which it said has been specifically designed for smartphones and tablets, and “delivers leading performance with competitive, energy efficiency.”
Intel demonstrated a smartphone reference design (pictured), which it said “aims to shrink device development time and costs for phone OEMs and carriers.” The fully-functioning device includes a 4.03-inch touch screen, and two cameras delivering “advanced imaging capabilities.”
Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and CEO, also said that the company will “raise the bar” on tablet experiences by offering compatibility with the millions of existing applications and devices; providing an instant-on software and apps experience; and supporting the Microsoft’s Metro user interface for Windows 8.
Away from mobile devices, much of Intel’s focus at the event was on “leading the industry to re-invent personal computing again,” through the creation of a new category of devices called Ultrabooks.
The company said that these devices will “marry the performance and capabilities of today’s laptops with tablet-like features.” It argues that the category has “gained strong momentum,” with more than 75 “ultra sleek, ultra responsive and secure” products expected to ship this year.
Dell is planning to offer its first Ultrabook, the XPS 13 (pictured), powered by an Intel processor, next month.
Applications specifically targeting Ultrabooks are available from Intel’s AppUp centre, which it described as “a one-stop shop for the latest PC apps.”