At long last, Intel details mobile phone roadmap

Intel has, at last, fleshed out its mobile platform plans during its press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The company will introduce phone designs aimed at the $150 unsubsidised market and new CPUs for the Medfield platform.

The silicon giant will lay the ground for other upper- and lower- price points by introducing two new CPUs to power its SoC, the Z2000 and the Z2580, Atom CPUs.

The lowest end SoC will be based around an Intel Atom Z2000 CPU, clocked at 1GHz and with Intel XMM 6265 HSPA+ mobile communications and dual-sim feature.

The higher-end SoC will be based on the Intel Atom Z2580 CPU running at an undisclosed clock speed and will use Intel XMM 7160 communications, which adds LTE to the mix. Intel promises the Z2580 will deliver twice the performance of the reference Medfield design that uses a Z2460 processor – currently specced at up to 2GHz.

While the current flavour of Intel’s smartphone CPU is a single core with hyper-threading enabled, one core, two threads, and considering it isn’t very easy to double the clock rate on something like this, the promise of twice the performance means that Z2580 is, in all likelihood, a dual-core variant of the Z2460 – in other words, two cores but four threads.

Intel has also detailed that as soon as it has shrunk Medfield to the 22nm process node, it will rack up the power- and cost savings that it can pass on to the partners. 22nm SoCs for Intel’s products will be available next year for carrier certification.

Both SoCs will be available later this year, although consumer products should only reach the market in early 2013. While Intel has already signed up several handset “makers”, the first carrier to actually brand its own Intel phone will be Orange, with its Santa Clara handset.

Motorola Mobility, Lenovo and Lava International are other non-carrier partners who’ve signed up for Intel Mobile Communications’ reference design.