Intel announces handset design wins with Atom

It was well worth listening to the Intel conference call which as usual followed quarterly earnings release, but only became available today.

In a Q&A, CEO Paul Otellini said that we’ll see Intel based phones in the first half of next year from a number of suppliers.  Responding to the threat of ARM, Otellini said: “There’s no one ARM, and there’s no one version of Atom going into these devices. The ARM guys have done a lot of that in the past, the Intel and ARM architectures both face the fundamental physics problems.  It will be more a function of the transistors.”

Intel is already there with $30 kits, and AMD is there with $20 kits, but the company already has the lion’s share. Intel is two years ahead of the rest of the industry, he said.

Otellini said that everything suggests the Ultrabook will happen at market price points. He said that Ultrabooks are $1,100 at the high end but in a year they’ll start at $699 up. As the form factor becomes smaller,  the bill of materials might rise.  He said that thin costs more – touchscreens, batteries and low profile hard drives cost a little bit more. The $300 million Ultrabook programme Intel has launched is so the industry can hit the right price points.

Work on tablet and smartphone design continues, Otellini said. In PCs Intel is seeing the first generation of Ultrabooks coming to market. Over the next few generations Ultrabooks will have touch screens, instant on and always be connected. There are seventy plus designs in the pipeline.

Historically a new release of Windows has benefited nicely. While there is some possibility of ARM incursion into Intel space, it’s going to be minimal, or so he says. Windows 8 will be across the whole market, in tablets as well as PCs, so “I think there is going to be an upside,” Otellini said.