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Intel set to debut its next-gen Atom processor for tablets

Posted: 01 Oct 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:system-on-chip? Atom? Clover Trail? Medfield platform? PowerVR processor?

Intel Corp is set to announce a next-generation Atom system-on-chip (SoC). The move is seen as an attempt by the company to establish a position in the tablet market.

Intel will unveil the Clover Trail, a dual-core Atom chip geared for smartphones and tablets. Companies including Acer, Asustek, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Samsung and ZTE are expected to show a mix of tablets and ultrabooks that can be converted into tablets, all using the chip.

Intel has taken some heat for not releasing any news about its mobile Atom processors at its annual Intel Developer Forum (IDF) earlier this month. However, the company did display four Windows 8 tablets including models from Acer, HP and Lenovo using its Atom chips there.

At IDF, Intel said Clover Trail will have twice the CPU and graphics performance of the single-core Atom chips in its current 1.6GHz, 32-nm Medfield platform. The 32-nm Clover Trail will come in two versionsone hitting data rates of 1.8GHz focused on Window 8 tablets and another hitting 2GHz geared for Android smartphones. The two chips are expected to use different PowerVR processor cores.

The tablets are not likely to ship until Microsoft formally releases Win 8 in late October.

The next big turn of the crank for Atom comes in 2013, when Intel is expected to announce Bay Trail, the first mobile Atom SoC made in its 22-nm process with tri-gate transistors.

At IDF, Intel said six companies have announced smartphones using the current Medfield. It showed the phones using up to 2GB low power DDR2 memory hitting respectable scores on a variety of Java, Linpack and browser benchmarks, generally below the Apple iPhone 4S and above the Samsung Galaxy II.

- Rick Merritt
??EE Times

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