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Computex: Intel flashes the first smartphone with Merrifield chip

Says it will increase performance by 50 percent compared to predecessor chips
Tue Jun 04 2013, 10:11
Kilroy doesn't tell us anything new

TAIPEI: CHIPMAKER Intel showed off its first smartphone with a Merrifield chip at Computex today.

Flashing an "early sample" of a Merrifield powered smartphone on stage at a keynote in Taipei's International Convention Centre (ICC), Intel VP of product marketing Tom Kilroy revealed that the Merrifield 22nm Atom SoC has a quad-core CPU.

Kilroy promised a 300 percent improvement in graphics and a 50 percent improvement in overall performance compared to predecessor chips, as well as "support for our high resolution 2560x1440 display".

Revealing that the chip maker is "gaining traction in phones", Kilroy talked about how Atom chips have started to appear in more and more devices, and how the firm is making "significant progress in terms of perception" in smartphones.

Kilroy would not divulge any more about Merrifield "until Barcelona next year", referring to Mobile World Congress in February.

"Barcelona 2014, you can look for that phone to be shipped," Kilroy said. He also showed off some tablets running Android and Windows on upcoming Atom chips codenamed Bay Trail, but didn't reveal any specific product specifications other than the fact it was a Windows tablet with LTE connectivity.

Kilroy said that Bay Trail tablets will ship starting for around $400 later this year.

The Merrifield and Bay Trail Atom chips are based on Intel's Silvermont architecture, which is the firm's first major architecture redesign since the first Atom chips were released for netbooks in 2008.

In terms of Intel's next generation ultrabooks, the firm failed to announce anything new and instead discussed the advantages of two-in-one notebook and tablet devices, and its Haswell chips

"Today, we're talking about the two-in-one," Kilroy said, much to the distress of journalists salivating at the sniff of a product launch. "Thanks to the new fourth gen Core, we now have a tremendous opportunity to transform the industry."

Refusing to reveal any of these specific "opportunities" in terms of brand new hardware, Kilroy added, "The two-in-one era: we believe this is the new normal," as though we've never heard of a hybrid notebook before.

The keynote was taken forward when Intel brought different stereotypes on stage, an actor in a white coat that represented a doctor and a man who appeared to be off the street in scruffy attire to represent a student. Each continued to explain how the two-in-one ultrabooks complemented their pigeonholed lifestyles. µ


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