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LG to debut Intel 'ARM killer'

Author: Clive Akass
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 14:48:00 GMT

Non-x86 SoC systems have a year to establish themselves before Moorestown hits market

LG is the first company to announce a product based on Intel's next-generation Moorestown mobile platform, promising an order-of-magnitude reduction in idle power consumption of a factor of 10 compared with today's Atoms.

The mobile internet device (MID), likely to be the first to use Moorestown, will hit the market next year, according to an Intel statement released today.

This means MIDs and netbooks based on ARM-based systems-on-a-chip have a year to establish themselves in the market before facing equally frugal x86 devices.

ARM-based SoCs are already frugal on idle power because of their widespread use in mobile phones, which need to be on all the time. Intel chip design has been dictated largely by the needs of the PC, which tends to be switched off when not used.

Qualcomm and TI both offer ARM-based SoCs boasting a full day's use (minimum eight hours) between charges – and without the extra battery cells required by extended-use notebooks.

Moorestown is the codename for Intel’s 'ARM killer' project to produce an x86 platform capable of matching this power efficiency. It consists of an SoC, codenamed Lincroft, that packs a 45nm Atom core, graphics, video and memory controller.

It also includes an input/output (I/O) hub, codenamed Langwell, with a range of I/O blocks and supporting wireless solutions.

Moorestown will come with Linux-based Moblin v2.0 software designed to support both telephony and "a PC-like internet experience".

But the rivalry in this emerging platform is not confined to hardware. Bios specialist Phoenix formally announced today a port of its Hyperspace environment to the ARM platform. It provides near-instant access to common applications such as email and web access without booting into the full operating system.

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