Intel reaches for the 'smartphone zone' with Moorestown-based Atom Z6, comes up shorthanded

We've seen the future of Intel's mobile platform, and it isn't all roses and sunshine. Three years after the chipmaker told us Moorestown would reduce Atom's energy consumption by a factor of 20, company execs told us earlier today that they've more than reached that goal with the new Z6xx series. Problem is, in the smartphone realm Intel's competitors haven't been sitting idle; according to one of Chipzilla's cantaloupe-and-magenta bar charts, it seems the company has merely caught up in terms of battery life. That's not to say the chips aren't worlds better than previous Atoms -- Intel sees 1.5GHz smartphone processors that slay Snapdragons and up to 1.9GHz in a tablet PC variety -- but 5 hours of web browsing is most decidedly not the 24 hours of productivity Intel previously promised. Besides, who knows: Qualcomm also has a 1.5GHz SoC in the works, though it may not be available by the time Intel's chips ship in the second half of the year.

None of this is to say that Intel won't continue to dominate in the netbook marketplace -- we shudder to think at the potential when combining a nice, chunky battery with Intel's nearly leakproof new chips, and perhaps a small serving of switchable graphics while we're at it. But without a single new MID or smartphone to show us this morning -- Aava Mobile and OpenPeak's offerings seemed unchanged from our previous encounters -- we're not sure if the company's other mobile ambitions have any sway. Not technical enough of a discussion for you? Peruse our gallery for the nitty-gritty. %Gallery-92318%