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Intel Reveals More Details About “Bay Trail” Chips

The new quad-core Atom silicon will be fast enough to power budget PCs

On by Max Smolaks 0

Intel has revealed more details about the upcoming Atom “Bay Trail” System-on-a-Chip (SoC) during the annual Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

The company previously said Bay Trail will offer powerful quad-core chips especially suitable for tablets, compatible with both Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Google’s Android.

The successor to “Clover Trail” will also power entry-level desktop PCs and All-in-Ones, and when run from a battery, enable at least a full day of work or several weeks on standby, according to Intel.

The SoC is expected to be available to systems makers in time for the 2013 Christmas holidays.

Supercharged

Intel is positioning its low-power Atom chips as an answer to the dominance of ARM in the mobile processor market. By the middle of 2012, silicon designed by a small team from Cambridge could be found in 95 percent of mobile devices sold.

250px-San_Francisco_Bay_Trail_in_Hayward_Regional_ShorelineWith the release of Windows 8, ARM gained a foothold in the PC market, thanks to Windows RT, a version of the operating system created specifically for its chips. And at the end of last year, ARM had partnered with once-great AMD to sell server processors, entering the market where Intel has ruled unopposed for decades.

So it comes as no surprise Intel is extending its product portfolio in the mobile direction. The new Bay Trail microarchitecture, based on the 22nm process, will give birth to the most powerful Atom processors to date. It will power everything from tablets to clamshell laptops and value all-in-one PCs.

The technology promises to enable device designs as thin as 8mm (0.3 inches) that offer “all-day battery life and weeks of standby”. Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung are just some of the manufacturers expected to release tablets based on the new SoC.

Meanwhile, the Atom “Merrifield” SoC, which is scheduled to appear on the shelves before the end of the year, will offer faster and less power-hungry chips for smartphones.

At the same event, Kirk Skaugen, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group, promised the Ultrabooks based on the fourth generation Core processor family codenamed “Haswell“, due in a few months, will deliver “the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel’s history”.

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Max Smolaks
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