Moorestown to give MIDs the shrink

Written by Tim Smalley

April 3, 2008 | 02:27

Tags: #chandrasehker #events #idf #idf-spring-2008 #keynote #mid #moorestown #pcb #shrink #size

Companies: #intel

Intel has spent a lot of today talking about its Menlow-based Mobile Internet Devices, but as always seems to be the case in the technology industry, there is something better around the corner.

This is just the beginning,” said Anand Chandrasehker during his keynote this morning.

You see, the problem with current (well, technically future) MIDs is that they’re simply too big to become a ubiquitous accessory for the technology enthusiast and consumer alike – they’re closer to the size of a PlayStation Portable, when really speaking, the ideal Mobile Internet Device will be about the same size as the iPhone so that it’s truly ‘mobile’ and ‘pocket-sized’.

The good thing is that Moorestown is around the corner and will significantly reduce the footprint of these devices. Chandrasehker showed off a Moorestown circuit board right at the end of his keynote and it’s smaller than a credit card – it was pretty impressive to say the least.

As a result, Moorestown should go a long way to fixing the problem of size and, knowing Intel, it’ll at least deliver the same performance at a lower power envelope.

Innovation drives growth,” said Chandrasehker, “and there's nothing like the innovation that we're about to unleash into the marketplace.” Exciting stuff and there looks to be a decent amount of potential for the MID going forwards.

Click to enlarge

But the question will be whether or not it can ever replace the mobile phone, because Intel has made a lot of comparisons to the lacklustre web experienced delivered by current devices. Many of the designs we’ve seen come with WiFi and EDGE, while some others also include WiMAX as well – the problem for Intel is convincing mobile telephone service providers that the future is VoIP because a large portion of their profits currently comes from overseas calls.

Intel’s execs didn’t seem to want to answer this question and pointed towards consumers carrying both devices. However, in much the same way that we’re seeing convergence of technologies on the desktop, we need to see this MID converge on the mobile phone space if it’s going to succeed.

Some handsets like the iPhone and some of Sony’s Walkman phones, are already starting to include decent MP3 players, and the iPhone includes the best mobile browsing experience we’ve seen to date. But the simple fact of the matter is that the browsing experience isn’t perfect and there are still limitations.

I think that Intel will eventually have a platform that is suitable for mobile phones—or at least smart phones—but neither Menlow or Moorestown is it. We’ll have to wait a few more years to see an x86 mobile phone that offers a limitless Internet experience.

Do you find yourself browsing the Internet on the move and, if so, do you find your current solution adequate? Let us know in the forums.
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