The Inquirer-Home

Otellini wants Intel inside mobile phones

Tue Mar 06 2007, 13:19
INTEL CHIEF Paul Otellini reckons Apple's iPhone shows Unix-like systems are better than Windows for mobile devices.

And having had a Windows phone for a few months, we'd be forced to agree.

Otellini told the Morgan Stanley Technology Conference in San Francisco: "Virtually every computer and handset manufacturer on the planet is struggling to figure out how to compete with Apple."

This is twaddle of course, but that's what he said.

Otellini thinks phone makers will have to switch to more powerful yet energy-efficient processors to compete with Apple. And, naturally, Intel is building some ultra low-power chippery, having unloaded its Xscale division to Marvel last year.

"If we get power and price down to the right point, I think it is a killer silicon compilation to these kinds of devices," Otellini said.

Apple has said that its phone will be running a special version of the OS X operating system that powers Mac systems. It may be powered by a Marvell Xscale processor.

"Where I see Linux as an opportunity is in ultra-mobile handsets. These things are much more inclined to be a Linux or a Unix derivative kind of product like OS X," said Otellini. "The power performance footprint in terms of the kernel for Linux for ultra-mobile is quite good as opposed to the footprint for Vista.

"You can get Windows CE in there, but you sure can't get Windows Vista in there as a small kernel version, which we are nudging to do. We would like to see Microsoft do a much more power-optimised, form factor-optimised kernel."

Microsoft's current Windows Mobile platform is unreliable, we have found. Sometimes pressing 'answer' when the phone rings cuts you off. This is somewhat pants.

It also fails to meet Otellini's demands of "ultra-mobile PCs": that they offer wide range of phone and computing functions as well as all day battery life. µ


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