We've already seen a few smartphones adopt Intel's new Medfield Atom chips. Motorola's new Razr i is the latest one, and it looks pretty slick—a lot like Motorola's own Razr M, in fact. There's just one catch: none of these phones seem to be headed to the U.S.
According to the guys at TechCrunch, there's a very good reason for that. The site says Intel has confirmed that current Medfield offerings lack support for LTE connectivity. Intel Product Marketing Director Sumeet Syal says the chipmaker will be "shipping some LTE products later this year and ramping into 2013," so that omission should be rectified soon. But it at least partly explains why the Razr i, for instance, is only launching in Europe and Latin America.
Another barrier to broader adoption is support for third-party Android apps, where Medfield is still lagging behind its ARM-based counterparts to some degree. Intel's Software and Services Group is working "constantly round the clock to make sure that all these apps work," says Syal, who also told TechCrunch that the "majority" of Android apps are already supported—but he declined to quote any figures.
Syal also told TechCrunch that a dual-core version of Medfield is on the way. (The current silicon is single-core with Hyper-Threading capabilities, which enables two threads.) The dual-core chip will retain HT capabilities, so it should have four threads in total.
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