Intel Moorestown, meet the power behind your next Android phone

The Intel Moorestown mobile chip’s not exactly been a secret, ever since we saw it shoved inside a chunky LG prototype back at CES in January, but now the silicon giant’s given us an in-depth demo of its skills. The tech – officially known as the Atom Z6 series – will power both Android and MeeGo phones, and well, let’s just say it makes them fast. Read on for the photos to see what your next Google phone will be capable of.

Snapdragon be damned. Based on the demos Intel showed us, the giant has finally gatecrashed the mobile party and cracked the power consumption problems that were holding it back for so long. The Intel Moorestown chips are based on the company’s x86 architecture, but with a claimed 50x power reduction compared to current “low” power Atom devices. It’s confident that mobiles using it will last up to three days on standby, six hours chatting over 3G and up to four pumping out full HD video. That’s about standard for a current monster smartphone using an ARM based processor.

We got a chance to check out some AAVA Mobile prototypes using an Intel Moorestown chip, running both Android and Moblin (Not MeeGo, but it will support the new OS), and came away impressed with the speed. The Moblin model whizzed through a silky smooth three way video conference, and supposedly 1080p video playback, though it didn’t have an HDMI port to demo this properly on a TV (Intel Moorestown chips do support HDMI though).

The Android Intel Moorestown device meanwhile was running the latest version of Google’s OS, 2.1, with a skin from The Astonishing Tribe, which showed open apps like cards, similar to Palm’s webOS. The big difference was that it was blindingly speedy milling through the tabs and in and out of programs.

MeeGo: Intel shows mystery smartphone and TV syncing

Unfortunately, still image processing running either OS maxes out at five megapixels, so you won’t be seeing any monster Intel Moorestown cameraphones anytime soon, but it’s capable of encoding video at 720p, matching the latest efforts from Samsung and Sony Ericsson on that front.

What’s got us most excited though is the potential the Intel Moorestown kit has to reinvent gaming on mobiles. We were shown Quake 3 running on a Moblin Moorestown device, and were blown way by the speed of the game. We’ve seen the game on Android before, sure, but the Moorestown platform’s support for Directx 9 as well as OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics means it’ll be easy to port plenty of PC games, old and new, over.

Of course, Intel’s not ignoring the nascent tablet market created by the iPad either, and aiming to stick Intel Moorestown gear inside slates too (We were shown the latest OpenPeak home hub, but you can expect more portable gadgets beyond some form of Joggler 2), with the same claimed performance and whizzy clock speeds of up to 1.9GHz .

The Intel Moorestown Atom Z6 series of chips are shipping to manufacturers now, meaning we’ll be seeing the finished products they power by the end of the year. Intel told us that we’ll be seeing tablets first, with smartphones to follow, but the first batch of both will hit in time for the Christmas rush.

Don’t just take our word on all of this though: give the pictures a click and see for yourself just what these Intel Moorestown prototypes were chomping through.

Out 2010 | £TBC | Intel

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