Asus is expected to announce a tablet based on an Atom processor code-named Lexington, a slower variant of Medfield aimed at low-cost smartphones and tablets. Acer and smaller phone makers Safaricom and Lava International have already announced smartphones based on Lexington. Intel is also expected to announce that Egyptian carrier Etisalat is building an E20 smartphone based on the Lexington chip.
Intel is still playing catch-up to ARM, the processor design of choice for the top smartphone makers. Intel is just getting started, and around 20 Intel Inside smartphones are currently shipping in 10 countries.
Intel-based smartphones are not yet available in the U.S., and believing the mature markets have become saturated, it is targeting developing countries where smartphone shipments are growing quickly.
Intel is also trying to make the case that its smartphone processors are as power-efficient as ARM. But the major device makers are still backing ARM, with Samsung and Apple developing ARM-based processors in-house for use in their handsets.
Intel will also use MWC to highlight its quad-core tablet chip code-named Bay Trail, which will appear in tablets during the holiday season this year.