Intel Corp. at its sales conference last week reportedly demonstrated a prototype of a smartphone featuring one of its Atom-based system-on-chip (SoC). The demonstration likely involved an early prototype of a handset running code-named Medfield SoC, which is due to be released later this year.

Anand Chandrasekher, vice president and co-general manager of the Intel architecture group showed off a Medfield-based phone at an Intel sales conference, according to a MeeGo developer who attended the event. The demonstrated smartphone was neither big or small; it was also not clear, which operating system the phone utilized.

Unfortunately, the company also did not reveal the model of the device or the name of the manufacturer, hence, it is hard to say whether the prototype was built by Intel itself for software development purposes or is actually a pre-release version of an actual product. There are rumours that the forthcoming Nokia N9 will be based on an Atom SoC and will be among the first handsets to use Medfield as well as MeeGo operating system.

The only thing that is known about the device for sure is that it is highly likely to be based on Medfield SoC. Chief executive of Intel said late in 2010 that the first smartphones featuring Intel Atom-powered SoC would be released in 2011 – 2012, which is after Medfield becomes available.

“We have already produced our second-generation smartphone chip, which is called Medfield. It is presently in customer sampling. It is [designed for] phones to be shipped later in 2011 and 2012. You will see smartphones from premier market vendors with Intel silicon inside in the second half of next year,” said Paul Otellini, chief executive officer of Intel.

Back last year a high-ranking executive for Intel said that Medfield, which will be made using 32nm process technology, will be able to challenge ARM-based SoCs in terms of power efficiency.