Intel Bringing x86 to Your Cell Phone

Intel finally announced and showed off their Medfield smartphone platform at CES today. After 5 years of chest beating and promising, we finally have a product and I’m surprised to say that I’m impressed.

Anand over at Anandtech managed to get a hold of a chip for testing and the results are quite good.


According to Anand’s tests, browsing performance is actually improved with a single core x86 SoC vs even the venerable Cortex A9 Dual Core SoC. Intel’s power usage is also generally lower or on par with its competitors.

Intel has even managed to land contracts with Lenovo and Motorola to build Intel-based Android 4.0 smartphones.


Also, in case you are worried about it, Intel mentioned to Anand that 75% of Android apps in the market are already compatible with Intel’s x86 platform since Android Market apps are mostly virtualized and most do not contain any ARM specific code. The other 25% do, but just require updates to be compliant.

Overall, it’s a good start for Intel, but only time will tell whether smartphone makers abandon their reliable connections with ARM for Intel’s platform.

Mike Lohnash