Intel unveiled its first reference design for its new 22nm Merrifield smartphone processor. Showed off on stage by Tom Killroy, Executive Vice President of Sales at Intel at the company's Computex keynote, the new chip reportedly won't reach consumers til early 2014, but it promises (like Intel's other new series) performance gains and a substantial reduction in power consumption through an "entirely new Atom architecture." The hardware itself is pretty unassuming, but (at least from this distance) we reckon we're looking at a 4-inch device -- given how close initial models were to the Intel Medfield smartphones, it's worth some scrutiny.

Other notable features include an "integrated sensor hub" for personalized services and privacy protection. Whether that's eye-based, finger-based or otherwise, we'll tell you more about that when we hear it.

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Innovation, Reinvention on Intel® Architecture Fuel Wave of 2-in-1 Devices, New Mobile Computing Experiences

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
Intel introduced 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors that serve as foundation to wave of new 2-in-1s that combine stunning PC performance with tablet-like mobility in one device and deliver on Ultrabook™ vision.
New Intel Core processors deliver biggest power savings in company history, enabling over 9 hours of battery life1 with stunning performance and two times the graphics capability versus the previous generation2.
Intel demonstrated for the first time its next-generation 22nm quad-core Intel® Atom™ SoC for tablets in conjunction with its forthcoming 4G LTE multimode data solution.
Showed first smartphone reference design platform based on next-generation 22nm Intel Atom SoC for smartphones.


COMPUTEX, Taipei, Taiwan, June 4, 2013 – Ushering in a wave of new Ultrabook™ andemerging 2-in-1 devices that deliver a PC when you need it and a tablet when you want it, Intel Corporation today introduced its ground-breaking 4th generation Intel® Core™ Processor family.

Speaking at Computex Taipei 2013, Executive Vice President Tom Kilroy said Intel has more than 50 different 2-in-1 designs in the pipeline across a range of price points, including premium Ultrabook 2-in-1s powered by the new Intel Core processors, and other designs powered by forthcoming processors based on the company's 22nm Silvermont microarchitecture.

"Today we deliver on the vision set forth 2 years ago to reinvent the laptop with the introduction of our 4th generation Intel Core processors that were designed from the ground up for the Ultrabook and serve as the foundation for a new era of 2-in-1 computing," said Kilroy. "We made one of the most seismic changes to our roadmap ever to build these new Core processors that deliver the stunning performance of the PC and the mobility of a tablet in one device. The new processors power the most exciting 2-in-1 designs to-date."

Kilroy also highlighted momentum in ultra-mobility, pointing to Intel's next-generation 22nm quad-core and most powerful Intel® Atom™ system-on-chip (SoC; codenamed "Bay Trail-T") yet for tablets coming this holiday, the company's forthcoming 4G LTE multimode solution and its next-generation 22nm Atom SoC (codenamed "Merrifield") for smartphones.

"With the new Intel Core processors introduced today, our next-generation Atom SoC for tablets and other 22nm products coming soon, the advances in Intel® architecture are accelerating the pace of innovation, enabling new experiences and powering some of the best mobile devices coming to market this year," said Kilroy.

New Intel Core Processors Foundational to 2-in-1 Computing, New Experiences
Designed first and foremost with the Ultrabook in mind and based on the company's flagship 22nm Haswell microarchitecture, the 4th generation Intel Core processors deliver a 50 percent increase in battery life in active workloads over the previous generation1. This is the largest generation-over-generation gain in the company's history, equating to over 9 hours of battery life in active workloads1 for some Ultrabooks based on the new processors.

Intel's newest Core processors are the first SoCs for PCs with stunning performance, and power a variety of innovative devices, including Ultrabook, 2-in-1 and portable all-in-one designs. Systems based on the quad-core version of the new Core processors are available now, with additional versions available in the coming months.

The 4th generation Intel Core processors also have built-in graphics that deliver discrete-level performance, or up to 2 times the performance of Intel's prior generation2. Offered on select versions of the new Intel Core processors, Intel® Iris™ graphics bring the Ultrabook and other mobile PCs to life with built-in, eye-popping visual experiences.

Select Ultrabooks powered by 4th generation Intel Core processors will deliver the Intel performance people expect combined with the mobility and responsiveness of a tablet, making them the premium, ultra-versatile 2-in-1 devices. With touch capability and a keyboard, the system adapts to the user and also offers full application compatibility. People can lean forward to work and lean back to relax using just one device.

Kilroy also showcased progress in bringing human-like senses to 2-in-1 and other Intel-based devices through the addition of touch, voice and facial recognition and other technologies. Called perceptual computing, these technologies take advantage of Intel processing power to make interaction with devices natural, intuitive and immersive.

He demonstrated immersive, short-range gesture and voice-based interaction by giving new Intel Core-based Ultrabook 2-in-1 devices "eyes" with the Creative Senz3D* peripheral camera, noting general availability for the camera starting next quarter. Looking to the future, he said Intel is working on an integrated solution to build 3-D depth camera technology directly into future Intel-based devices targeted for the second half of 2014.

Accelerating Fast: Tablets, Smartphones and LTE
Intel's 22nm low-power, high-performance Silvermont microarchitecture is enabling the company to accelerate and significantly enhance its tablet and smartphone offerings.

For tablets on shelves for holiday 2013, Intel's next-generation, 22nm quad-core Atom SoC ("Bay Trail-T") will deliver superior graphics and more than two times the CPU performance of the current generation. It will also enable sleek designs with 8 or more hours3 of battery life and weeks of standby, as well as support Android* and Windows 8.1*.

For the first time, Kilroy demonstrated Intel's 4G LTE multimode solution in conjunction with the next-generation 22nm quad-core Atom SoC for tablets. The Intel® XMM 7160 is one of the world's smallest4and lowest-power multimode-multiband LTE solutions and will support global LTE roaming in a single SKU.

With a number of phones with Intel silicon inside having shipped across more than 30 countries, Kilroy previewed what's coming. He showed for the first time a smartphone reference design platform based on "Merrifield," Intel's next-generation 22nm Intel Atom SoC for smartphones that will deliver increased performance and battery life. The platform includes an integrated sensor hub for personalized services, as well as capabilities for data, device and privacy protection.

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Intel reveals Merrifield processor in new smartphone reference design, promises 'integrated sensor hub'