Yes, the phrase is borrowed from Apple, but Intel also looks to put the Internet in your pocket with the introduction of the MIDs running on the Silverthorne processor. The Menlow platform is comprised of the Silverthorne processor and Poulsbo chipset. Wired has a provoking article that leads off with some great info on the Silverthorne, then moves into discussing MIDs in general.
This week at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC), Intel revealed more technical details about its new low-power processor, codenamed Silverthorne, which consumes between 0.6 to 2 watts of power (compared with 35 watts from Intel’s Core 2 Duo, a popular desktop and laptop CPU).
This is the first time I’ve seen solid power numbers for the Silverthorne and they’re appropriately impressive. This should have a major impact on battery life, although obviously the devices that use the Silverthorne tend to have very small batteries and thus may still have a short power life overall.
After that bit of useful info, Wired starts talking about MIDs in general, and that’s where the provoking part comes in. Declaring that consumers have “have already resoundingly rejected Intel’s earlier ultramobile platform, the ultramobile PC (UMPC)”, Wired then claims that the lower prices of the MID platforms will “combat consumer apathy”. Even at lower prices, though, some analysts remain unconvinced of the potential market for MIDs.
“The challenge for these devices is that at the end of the day they’re still too small to be productive, too big to be ultraportable,” Martin says of MIDs. “Ultimately, the smartphone inevitably overtakes that market,” he says, because people would rather have an all-purpose device that does everything adequately than fill out their gadget portfolios with more specialized devices to meet specific needs.
I’m still sitting on the fence with MIDs. I want to like them. I’m enthusiastic about the idea of the “internet in my pocket”, but at the same time, I’m not sure what the convergence path is for these kinds of devices. It seems possible that in the 2009-2010 the MID may replace today’s smartphone. Is it still a MID if it’s also my cell phone? When I talked to Pankaj Kedia at CES, I got a preview of the Moorestown platform, the successor of the Menlow, targeted for 2009-2010 timeframe. It seems like Moorestown could just be the processor in my phone, at which point I’m still carrying one device, just a device significantly more processing power courtesy of Intel, not ARM.
And if I can get a 1-2GHz processor in my phone, do I need a secondary mobile device? Maybe I just need something like the Celio REDFLY that will give me a decent keyboard and screen to go with my phone. Interesting thoughts indeed.