First Texas Instruments, now Intel. Shortly after TI announced the lastest version of its OMAP chip, Intel shot right back, announcing two new mobile processors and giving a speed boost to its codename Medfield chip. The first mobile processor built on the x86 architecture, Intel's Medfield processor, now know by its official name, the Intel Atom Z246o, is expected to see a speed increase to a blazing 2-Ghz.
If that wasn't enough to entire the speed-freak in you, Intel CEO Paul Otellini, also announced its Atom Z2580 processor, a chip that will be twice as powerful as the aforementioned Z2460. But when pressed as to what kind of tangible specifications he could provide to support such a power boost, Otellini said he would rather keep that kind of information underwraps for now. In addition to raw power, Intel say the Z2580 will also sport a multi-mode LTG/3G/2G radio.
But Intel didn't stop there. The company also announced its plans for the Intel Atom Z2000, a processor specifically designed to target the entry-level smartphone market. The 1-Ghz chip features suport for the Intel XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem and dual-SIM capabilities for 3G and 2G modes. Otellini even said Intel has already begun working on improved versions of these new chips, scaling them down from their 32nm architecture to a smaller 22nm. A 14nm chip is also reportedly in development.
At this point, you're probably wondering why Intel has yet to touch on the prospect of a multi-core processor. Well, according to Otellini, the industry's fascination with the number of cores a processor has is important. Instead, Otellini said, it is the overall performance and power saving capabilities of the chips that matter.
From the looks of these announcements, it would seem that the days of Intel sitting on the sidelines of the smartphone processor wars are indeed over. What remains to be seen, however, is how powerful the phones these processors are expected to power will be.