Intel CEO: mobile phone processor cores don’t matter

In a move that the Intel CEO and president joked “may have just started another core war”, Paul Otellini has dismissed the importance of cores in mobile phone CPUs.

With the rest of the market racing towards quad-core processors on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich phones, Otellini very bluntly replied to comparisons with his company’s Medfield processor at the Intel press conference at Mobile World Congress 2012.

“I don’t think it [the number of cores] matters. What matters is the chip itself," he said. "The core comparison is really improper in my mind. What does matter is the performance and the efficiency of that performance.”

The words are clearly a huge snub of the claims of companies such as Samsung, Qualcomm and Nvidia as to what makes their microprocessors more evolved in this space.

Aside from that, the Intel boss was tight-lipped as to what features would come in the forthcoming generations of Atom-based smartphones apart from saying we could expect one with twice the performance power and one comparable to Medfield abilities that would be available on much more basic handsets for under $150.

“It’s a very fast moving market,” he explained in reaction to the lack of future-looking information, normally more common with Intel computer chip press announcements. “We are not the incumbent and I want to surprise our competitors like we have with Medfield.”

The event in Barcelona also saw Orange and Visa take the stage as partners in Intel’s mobile ventures along with Hey Shiyou, executive vice-president head of Terminal Division, ZTE, who promised Medfield-based handsets from his company in the second half of 2012.