That Intel was working on the Medfield was something well enough known, but the company might just be refashioning its product plans in regards to the mobile market.
It was just reported that the Santa Clara, California-based chip giant has decided to change its roadmap to include a processor specifically made for tablets.
This unit will supposedly be launched at some point next year (2012) while Medfield will be specialized on handsets and smartphones.
Intel had originally intended for Medfield to cover slates as well, but for some reason or another it has changed its mind, assuming this report is accurate that is.
Naturally, Intel hopes to at least match ARM in terms of performance and TDP (thermal design power).
Within two years, smartphone and tablet x86 CPUs alike should have TDP ratings of no more than 10W.
It is quite likely that the appearance of the NVIDIA Tegra 3 Kal-El played a part in this reported move on Intel's part.
Though it had been hyped up for months, people, or some of them, were still skeptical about the platform's ability to rise up to it.
In the end, the Kal-El really did show up on time and left quite a few jaws dropped through game demos, like this one (and this one too).
The other thing to consider is that Microsoft's Windows 8 will support the ARM architecture, which means that Intel no longer has the advantage of said OS only handling x86 units.
As such, it makes a fair amount of sense that it would develop a chip specifically geared towards slates, even as it tries its best on the smartphone and handset front as well.
The continuous advancement of chip manufacturing processes will go a long way towards allowing Intel to meet those power consumption requirements. All it has to do now is progress fast enough to match ARM in a timely fashion.