Intel Oculus: Preparing Intel for Competition in Smartphones & Tabletsby Anand Lal Shimpi on September 13, 2011 3:19 PM EST
Intel has been quietly working on its plans for smartphones and tablets. This is a significant departure from the waves it was making just a couple of years ago. Failure to get any smartphone design wins with Atom and the failed MeeGo partnership with Nokia have pushed Intel back into a contemplative corner. Progress is still being made as you can see by this morning's announcement with Google, it's just not front and center until Intel finds itself in a device.
One area Intel has been working on is performance characterization. The setup above is what Intel calls Oculus. It's a high speed RED camera mounted above a platform that can accommodate a smartphone or tablet. Intel uses the camera in combination with a robotic arm to measure things like UI response time and animation smoothness. These types of characterizations have been very difficult to make based on currently available benchmarks (e.g. there are very few UI smoothness benchmarks) but are very important to quantifying the user experience of a platform.
Intel is feeding the data from Oculus into hardware and software development. The goal is to deliver iOS-like smoothness (if not better) across all Intel based products in these new markets it enters.