At the beginning of this year Intel finally unveiled its Atom Z2460 (Medfield) smartphone platform. The single-core, dual-thread CPU ran at up to 1.6GHz and was paired with a PowerVR SGX 540 GPU from Imagination Technologies. 

Most of the first Z2460 smartphones announced simply leveraged Intel's Medfield Form Factor Reference Design (FFRD). This approach guaranteed minimal risk for the device vendor, while introducing a completely new way to address the market for Intel. If the typical device markers weren't biting at the opportunity to ship an Intel phone, Intel would simply build its own and sell it directly to carriers and others who wanted it.
 
The major exception was Motorola. At CES this year Motorola announced it would be building smartphones and tablets based on Intel's Atom silicon, with the first devices appearing in the second half of 2012.
 
We're well into the second half, and at a special event today in London the two companies announced the first fruits of their labor: the Motorola RAZR i.
 
If the device pictured above looks familiar to you it's because the RAZR i is very similar to the Droid RAZR M that was just announced a couple of weeks ago in NYC. The same 4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED Advanced display is present on the front, and you get the same Dupont Kevlar around back. What's new is the silicon inside: a combination of Intel's Atom Z2460 and XMM6260 baseband drive the RAZR i.
 
At Mobile World Congress Intel announced the Z2460 would be able to run its CPU core at up to 2GHz, up from the 1.6GHz announced at CES. Since then, no Intel based phones have used the new 2GHz silicon. The Motorla RAZR i is the first. I believe this also makes the RAZR i the first Android smartphone to hit 2GHz in its default configuration, without overclocking. Admittedly the Z2460's base clock remains 1.3GHz, it's only when the thermal conditions allow it that the CPU will boost up to 2GHz. Frequency isn't everything of course, but it's interesting to see Intel at the forefront of ramping it in the smartphone space. 
 
The rest of the specs should be identical (or very similar) to the Droid RAZR M. Obviously LTE support is out given the Intel HSPA+ baseband.
 
The RAZR i runs Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) although Google/Mototorla/Intel are committed to delivering 4.1 (Jelly Bean) as an upgrade at some point.
 
While the RAZR i isn't the flagship device Intel needs, it's another step in the right direction. The first devices will ship in October to select European and Latin American markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. Unlike the Droid RAZR M, the RAZR i will only be available in black.
 
One of these days we'll see a US-focused Intel smartphone, although I suspect that won't happen until next year.
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  • kmmatney - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Only for GSM networks? Reply
  • fic2 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    In other news - it's funny you don't know what you are talking about.... Reply
  • shaolin95 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    The sweet moment when a troll realizes he made an ass of himself..good job xdrol..or xtroll Reply
  • jjj - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    "A stand out white version will also be coming to select markets" source http://newsroom.intel.com/community/intel_newsroom...

    Feels like Google is just doing Intel another favour here,after all Otellini is on Google's board but after Chromebooks and GTV maybe it's time to cut their loses.
    Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    So Intel wants to get away with marketing a "2 Ghz processor", when in fact it will use only 1.3 Ghz most of the time, except perhaps in benchmarks, to make it seem like that processor runs at that speed all the time. Nice trick Intel. Reply
  • niko_ - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Do you think ARM always run at nominal speed? Haha Reply
  • piroroadkill - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Mostly, Christ, my touchpad is pegged a lot even on simple animations. Reply
  • UpSpin - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    As soon as you tax an ARM SoC, yes. You can verify the current clock speeds and the history of selected clock speeds with specific apps.
    If you don't tax it, there's no need to run at the highest frequency, but that's a different thing to the one Intel does.

    Their SoC runs at max. 1.3GHz and has a 'turbo', 'boost' option to ramp up to 2GHz if possible (low temperature). The longer you use your phone the more likely it gets that it's 'too hot' to go up to 2GHz.

    This means for benchmarks: The first run gives you competive results because the Smartphone is cold and the SoC often ramps up to 2GHz. The second or third run however reveals the continous results, which are much lower, because the default max. frequency remains 1.3GHz.

    This means for the user:
    Occasional short use --> good performance
    Long sessions, like gaming or even longer web browsing --> poor performance.

    ARM SoCs don't have such a burst mode/turbo mode yet.
    Reply
  • Hector2 - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    You're not a newbie. You know that benchmarks are what matters. Let's wait and see what they are. Intel has used "turbo" mode for their mainstream processors for quite awhile and it's a nice feature. It's a good thing. Reply
  • Lucian Armasu - Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - link

    Yes, they have, but have you ever wondered why Intel never advertises the "turbo-boosted frequency" and instead they only advertise the "real" non-TB'ed frequency? It's because they would be misleading people if they did it otherwise. When they say they have a dual core 2.2 Ghz quad core i7, that's what it is. It's not a 3.1 Ghz quad core i7 (if you add TB). A quad core 3.1 Ghz would have MUCH higher TDP, which means, that the turbo-boost is maybe used 5% at the time at most - but probably just 1-2% of the time, when your machine is really struggling with the tasks you've thrown at it.

    But this is not what they are doing with this Atom chip for RAZR i. They are doing the opposite. They chose to be misleading this time, and say it's a 2 Ghz chip, when it's not. This is the first time Intel has done this, and it shows their desperation to enter the mobile market.
    Reply

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