A little something for Android, a little something for Windows from Intel today

7 January 2013 by Steve Blum
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Intel is aiming for the low and high ends of the mobile processor market, seemingly leaving the big middle to ARM competitors and edging even closer to Google's Android operating system.

“We've built this device targeting emerging markets,” said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel's mobile and communications group, as he showed a smart phone built on top of the new mobile chip announced today. “It's a no-compromises smart phone.”

India's Lava supporting Intel's Lexington chip.

The Atom Z2420 is code named “Lexington”, boasts a 1.2 GHz clock rate and, interestingly enough, is optimized for Android.

The reference designs on display support dual SIMs – important for the developing world, where any one single carrier can't always deliver. It has an FM radio and is designed to fully support multimedia applications with 1080p and wireless display capabilities.

Two prototype phones were on hand, a Xolo from India's Lava International and a no-name product from Acer. Safaricom, a leading mobile carrier in Kenya, was the third Lexington partner announced, with Intel saying it's working with an OEM company to produce the phones. No shipment dates have been set for any of the three.

Bell talked about the big middle of the mobile market – performance oriented smart phones – and emphasized that they've worked with Google to produce an Android version that's optimized for Intel chips. He didn't cede any ground to the ARM-based competitors that dominate that segment, but he didn't have anything new for it, either.

At the high end, Intel continues to push for better performance from the chips that support its Ultrabook initiative, which it's positioning as a high end product in the mobile space. The newest generation, announced today, supports what Kirk Skaugen, VP/GM for PCs, calls “the full Windows 8 experience” and consumes only 7 watts of power.