Intel and Lenovo unveil first Medfield-powered phone

In its CES 2012 keynote, Intel unveiled partnerships aimed at delivering more Atom-based devices this year, including an announcement of the first phone built on its 32-nano chip, the K800 from Lenovo
Written by Ben Woods, Contributor

Intel has unveiled a clutch of partnerships around its Atom chip, including the first smartphone powered by its Medfield family.

Lenovo Intel CES 2012

Intel's Paul Otellini (right) and Lenovo's Liu Jun announce the Medfield-powered K800 smartphone at CES on Tuesday. Image credit: Ben Woods

At CES 2012 on Tuesday, chief executive Paul Otellini revealed during an Intel keynote speech that Lenovo will be the first manufacturer to launch a Medfield-based handset, the K800. Medfield, officially known as the Atom Z2460 platform, is a 32-nanometer chip optimised to be a low-power, high-performance chip capable of handling advanced tasks.

This is only the first step. Intel and Lenovo will achieve great success in the booming mobile market.
– Liu Jun, Lenovo

Lenovo's Liu Jun, who heads up the Chinese company's mobile and internet device unit, introduced the smartphone, but did not give many details. However, he did reveal that the K800 has a 4.5-inch 720p display and uses a 1.6GHz Z2460 processor. It runs on Android 4.0, better known as Ice Cream Sandwich.

"This is only the first step," Jun said about the K800 and the companies' partnership. "Intel and Lenovo will achieve great success in the booming mobile market."

The smartphone, which has a dual-LED flash-equipped camera on the rear, is scheduled to arrive in the second quarter, shipping first on the China Unicom network in China with a local LeOS interface. No other details were given.

Following the K800 announcement, Motorola Mobility chief executive Sanjay Jha joined Otellini on stage to announce a "multi-year, multi-device partnership" between the two companies, which will generate Intel-based tablets and smartphones. Jha said Motorola's first Intel-powered handset will launch "shortly after this summer", alongside other mobile devices. However, he did not give any more information on models, features or release regions.

Smartphone designs

Intel is playing catch-up in the smartphone market, which has in recent years been dominated by mobile manufacturers choosing chips from rivals such as Qualcomm and Nvidia.

During the keynote, Intel showed off a smartphone reference design based on the Android platform. The unit is a fully functioning smartphone with a 4.03-inch display and 8-megapixel camera that can take up to 15 images in less than a second, said Michael Bell, head of Intel's mobile and communications group.

The company hopes that by providing hardware makers and carriers with a fully functioning unit it will help reduce development time and costs, meaning the devices could make it to market quicker than if manufacturers were to start from scratch.

In addition, Intel continued beating the drum for ultrabooks in its presentation, which saw Dell come on to announce its first device in the category, the XPS 13. Based on Intel's i7 chip, the 13-inch device is set for release in February, though no details were given of where it would go on sale. It will weigh a shade under 1.4kg and provide up to eight hours of battery life, according to Dell.

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