Intel expects first Moorestown phones in early 2011

Tablet PCs containing Moorestown, a graphic processor combined with an Atom CPU, will appear even sooner

Intel expects the first phones based on its Moorestown platform to be available early next year, and tablet PCs before that, it said Wednesday.

Moorestown combines an Atom processor and a graphics processor into a single package and is aimed at tablet PCs and smartphones. The chip boasts lower power consumption and higher performance than rivals, the chip-maker said during a news conference at the Computex IT show in Taipei.

"I'd say you'd see phones in the first half of 2011 timeframe and you'd certainly see others coming out after that," said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, in an interview. "And tablets will be slightly ahead of phones."

Phones will take longer to appear because they have to go through a more rigorous testing procedure than computers, he said.

Intel launched Moorestown in early May and at Computex a number of electronics makers are showing prototype devices based on the chip package.

During a demonstration at the news conference, Intel showed the "World of Warcraft" PC game running on a Moorestown-based smartphone. It also demonstrated a 1080p high-definition video clip of the movie "Avatar" playing smoothly on a similar smartphone.

Intel said the chip delivers two to four times the graphics performance of competing smartphone processors and is the only smartphone chip that can handle 1080p video. Most phones don't have the screen resolution to support full high-definition but it's likely to be offered by many tablet PCs.

The Moorestown package that was launched in May supports operating systems like Android and MeeGo but not Windows.

Early next year Intel will release a second version of its Atom processor aimed at tablet PCs. Called Oak Trail, the package is a variant on Moorestown.

Martyn Williams is Tokyo Bureau Chief for IDG News Service and can be reached by e-mail at martyn_williams@idg.com and on Twitter @martyn_williams

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