The Moorestown vision

Posted on 16 March 2009 by

moorestown x As time draws closer and closer to the time when Intel’s Moorestown platform is due to be released, I’ve been looking around at some of the concepts that they have been showing over the last year to get an idea of what we’ll see when the Moorestown platform hits. Moorestown is a platform for an upcoming set of devices that will blur the lines between smartphones and MIDs. Chippy used the term ‘MIDphone’ not long ago in an article about a voice capable software stack that would be making its way to Moblin (a MID oriented OS). One of these MIDphones that you will probably recognize is, at this point, nameless, but many have said that it looks to be a super-wide iPhone (let’s call it Moorestown X). A little while back, Intel released three videos showing concepts of what they want a device like Moorestown X to be able to achieve with the platform:

Moorestown vision part 1

 

Moorestown vision part 2

 

Mooretown vision part 3

As I look at these videos and compare similar hardware that we have access to today, I get quite excited to see if something like this can be delivered. Obviously the videos above are simply conceptual, but if they could deliver functional software that is even half as polished as what we see above, it would make for an excellent device, as long as the Moorestown platform is really up to the task of delivering this experience with the battery life that people expect from a phone. Moorestown is purportedly going to consume ten times less power while idle than current Atom platforms. Concepts like these always make the software look good, but I hope they spend some serious time on the GUI if they are planning on bringing a similar product to market. I can’t stand the idea that the eye-candy would get in the way of productivity.

It seems like some of the focus on Moorestown has been shifted in light of the success that Intel has been having with their Atom platform, which powers an incredible amount of the netbooks that we see today. As far as we know however, Intel is still hard at work on Moorestown, and as soon as they complete their work, which should be in late 2009 or early 2010, we’ll start seeing hardware that should change the way we think about pocketable computing.

It is interesting to me to think about what will happen to devices like the iPhone and upcoming Palm Pre when they are put in perspective with the kind of devices that we could see coming from Moorestown. Competition always functions as a driver for innovation, so I think its safe to say that the release of the Moorestown platform will be good for everyone in the long run.

Thoughts on the Moorestown vision? What would you be willing to pay for a device like the Moorestown X? Are you excited about the upcoming platform if it could bring products like this into the smartphone/MID space?

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  • The Moorestown vision http://www.umpcportal.com/?p=6278

  • Scoobie

    I’m not holding my breath given how long it’s taken them to deliver the pocketable umpc vision.

    • Techni

      Intel said its not possible to make even 800*480 pocketable. Too hard to see it

      • EC

        Where did Intel say that? Since there are several pocketable devices with Intel inside and that are promoted by Intel at their booths, for instance OQO 2+
        http://www.oqo.com/products/model2+/specifications.html

        Compal MIDs (Aigo, M528 etc)

        UMID MID even has 1024×600 !

        Now I won’t disagree that these resolutions on this 4.8″ screens are not the most practical but I have my doubts if Intel would’ve said that since a good portion of the devices they are promoting at their own devices, are just that POCKETABLE and 800×480 or HIGHER!

  • Reading: The Moorestown vision | UMPCPortal – The Mobile Internet and Computing Reference Site – http://is.gd/nuyF

  • John

    Over on the Mac Rumors forums, we’ve been talking about the rumors of Apple ordering 10″ touch screens from the iPhone maker, to be delivered this coming summer. When I saw this, I immediately thought “I was expecting a more 16×9 aspect ratio 10 inch device, but this could be the reality behind the rumors”.

    Here’s what I wrote over there (with some minor touch-ups).

    This isn’t exactly the 10″ screen I had envisioned, but it does show split thumb virtual keyboards that you can use while still fully utilizing the application at hand (sort of reminiscent of the Samsung Q1 Ultra, or the Wibrain). I would just hope for something that had less of an extreme aspect ratio.

    Some of the things going on in the videos lead me to believe that it’s NOT an Apple device … but I could sort of see getting used to an iPhone that big. Especially if it has tethering for my netbook, and a decent ssh and vnc (or apple remote desktop) client to use when I’m not carrying my netbook. I’d also want to see what Google Reader looks like on it, and how well Google Docs and Gmail work.

    My suspicion is that it’s a mocked concept of a Moblin device. But I find it a lot more interesting (after watching the videos and thinking about it some) than I would have if someone had just told me about it (or if I had just seen the opening picture and not looked any further).

    Still, I think I’d prefer a 10″ 16×9 aspect ratio device.

    • Ben

      Its definitely just a concept device made by Intel. They wanted to show what they wanted to be able to do with the Moorestown platform that they are developing. Sorry if I made I made it sound confusing, but the device is just a concept from Intel.

      I could also see myself enjoying an Apple device of this size, given that it had an intelligently crafted GUI like Apple delivered on the iPhone.

      • EC

        Exactly same words, but it just cant be much reality behind this at this point (maybe there was serious consideration at some point?) by Apple as it would not be very welcome by Apple if this was released now before any device is launched, this is obviously not your typical “leaked” info but official material from Intel.

        • EC

          Turns out these videos have been four months already on Youtube.

          Anyhow, I just got thinking if you can picture this device with an “add on” keyboard like the Touchbook (yes smaller than touchbook!) http://www.alwaysinnovating.com/touchbook/
          I think it would be like a mini Vaio P if you had an add on KB :)

  • startac

    If Intel releases it in early 2010, taking the more conservative estimate, then we should see consumer devices STARTING to ship in what…mid 2010? And no appreciable variety until late 2010, or even early 2011?

    • DavidC1

      We’ll see Moorestown hardware by Q2/Q3 of this year. Every year we’ll see a new platform.

  • These MIDs are what i wanted to have back in 1999. Back then they were called MICs Mobile Internet Computers. and Intel was supporting that technology back then (i think based on what i read back then). Transmeta’s Caruso chip was designed for those Older MICs running 300mhz to 700mhz. I want to own one of these MIDs in the near future.

  • anon

    I’d be surprised if we saw hints of Moorestown at CES 2010. Anyway, combining Moorestown with some advances in display technology and perhaps even some of the new li-ion battery technologies to come in the next five years would really make some sweet devices. If the most significant power hogs left were the radios and we had plenty of battery capacity, we could have always-on, pocketable ‘MIDPhones’ that are good enough for pretty much all personal mobile communication and computing needs.

    The remaining big challenges would basically be finding the perfect form factor, not worrying about performance or battery life. Laptops will remain, but what form will our phones and pocketable PCs assume?

    • Vakeros

      I think you would have a variety of forms like you do today. Those who like slim, would go for basically a screen. Those who want something more tactile will want a keyboard, and those who like simplicity will probably still want a dial pad for the telephone side. And then you have the last bunch who will want a convertible.
      I do think though that the size will settle into jeans pocketable, jacket pocketable, coat pocketable and then bag sized.
      I don’t like netbooks, purely because I don’t want to carry a bag around, but I am happy to wear a coat. This of course leads to the real possiblity of wearing your hardware (but it would have to be something that is interchangeable for the fashion conscious – ie bracelet/wristband etc.
      As Chippy goes on about 2 or 3 devices, I think we will still see this, but the 2 or 3 will be wristwatch, headset and pocketable PC.

  • EC

    I could see myself living with this “compromise” keyboard if “everything else” would be there, full OS capability (in some fashion), battery time (I want 6-8hrs real usage at least), and pocketability!

  • deriuqer

    Go to hell with those stupid aspect ratio/screen only devices !

    Im not going to buy stuff like that,the whole idea behind it sucks.Its the same as with the iPhone,cheapest way to feed the consumption zombies.

    I never wanted to use a console like Data anyway.

    http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/2/4/f_Startrekwinm_06009a2.gif

    • Ben

      I don’t have too much of an issue with the aspect ratio of the Moorestown X. Standard media aspect ratios might not be the most effective shape for future mobile devices. If they test it and it works work, I’m not going to deny it just because it has a strange aspect ratio. Sure the iPhones 3:2 ratio it strange, but it works well for the OSK.

    • EC
  • jquint

    Interesting that the rumored Lenovo Yoga has this form factor.

    http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/16/lenovo-leaks-pocket-yoga-mystery-netbook-pics/

  • alex

    There may not be much of an improvement going to Moorestown from Menlow:

    Moorestown is unlikely to be smaller.OEMs have already started sampling a credit-card sized motherboard for the Menlow platform:
    http://www.slashgear.com/toradex-robin-atom-cpu-on-credit-card-sized-mainboard-2735953/

    Performance is unlikely to increase. The only benefits will be less heat and longer battery-life. But a credit-card sized Menlow-phone will be much cheaper than the Moorestown version and clocked at 800mhz let’s say, it won’t give out much heat anyway.

    • John

      “longer battery life” is an important increase in performance, IMO.

    • DavidC1

      The reference Moorestown board is still much smaller than the Menlow board shown on Slashgear. The toradex-robin is 84mm x 55mm and Moorestown reference board is 45mm x 55mm.

      And you can’t help but think 3rd party vendors could make it even smaller because the secondary chip for Moorestown is much more compact than the Poulsbo chipset. While the Poulsbo is more than 2x larger than Menlow, Langwell and Lincroft will be similar size to current Menlow chip.

      Battery life and heat: Though Poulsbo is the lowest power using Windows compatible chipset out there, it can be even better. It’s at 130nm process technology and with Moorestown, the graphics/memory controller will go into CPU as 45nm. The Langwell I/O chip will probably be using smaller lithography at 90nm or even 65nm.

      Performance: The graphics will be upgraded to SGX540 series and Intel presentations put the graphics performance increase at ~50%. On the CPU side, it’ll use the Atom, but using integrated memory controller will help. Pretty much I’d think 20-30% increase per clock is possible at top-end Netbook configuration, and clock speeds are also supposed to increase.

  • John

    Thinking more about this one today…

    Both this and the Lenovo Pocket Yoga (linked above) are as long as a more traditional phone, making for a slightly more comfortable phone experience for us older types. But they would be more “jacket inside breast pocket” pocketable than “jeans pocket” pocketable. I think that might be my one reservation — I don’t need this device to be my netbook, my netbook needs to be bigger. But I do want a pocketable to be “pocketable”. So I’d have to see if this really would fit comfortably in my pants/shorts front pocket.

    Though, I wonder if, using the new flexible oled screens, if you could make the Moorestown X fold in half length wise (in either direction), giving you a short touchscreen device or clamshell when closed, and this elongated device when open.

  • EC

    Is anyone able to FULL SCREEN those embedded YouTube videos Ben posted?
    BTW these are from 2007 :)

    • Ben

      Full screen is working if you go to the original YouTube page. I know the videos aren’t new, but I wanted to start up a discussion about them as we get closer to the time that Moorestown is supposed to hit.

      • EC

        Yeah I know that already watched it full screen on 9″ and 24″ :)
        I was just puzzled by why if it has the button in the embedded info why it won’t work :(

  • anuj kumar

    idk as long as itz beta than iphone………

  • anuj kumar

    and plus gamin is like psp so i might be fun 2

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