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Intel makes advances in Taiwan tablet market

Posted: 09 Jun 2014 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Taiwan? tablet? Intel? processor?

Intel is leveraging its solid ties with Taiwan's PC industry to carve out a more substantial market share for tablets, as underscored in the keynote address of Intel President Rene James at Computex. During the event, the chip giant featured its process technology with a 14nm Broadwell-based mobile processor, the Intel Core M processor.

While no technical details were given for the part, James also demonstrated the part in an Intel reference design for a "two-in-one" hybrid notebook/tablet. The design is only 7.2mm thick and only weighs 0.67kg with the keyboard detached. It achieves the thin design by going fanless.

The so-called Llama Mountain platform uses a 12.5-inch QHD (2,560px by 1,440px) display from Sharp. Asus will ship a version of the reference design as the Transformer T300 Chi. Eliminating the fan saves space above the processor, but can only be achieved by keeping active power below just a few watts.

This is a major milestone for Intel's Core family and does overlap with the low-power Atom-based BayTrail processors, which can also be used in fanless designs. But the Atom chips lack the single-thread performance of Intel's Core processors and do not have the same graphics performance. No date was given to production shipments.

Intel Core M

Kirk Skaugen, general manager of Intel's PC client group, holds up the Llama Mountain platform, a fanless mobile PC reference design based on Intel's 14nm Core M processor.

For Intel, its greatest advantage is using its process technology to integrate more functions into one piece of silicon. The company's 14nm products are scheduled to ship later this year, and James says Intel can "see clear to 10nm."

With its process lead, Intel expects to deliver lower power and higher performance than existing productsalthough not always at the same time. James contends that process development fuels the IT industry.

Still, the rest of the mobile processor industry is doing quite nicely with 28nm. James's keynote also didn't account for innovation in design, like heterogeneous computing, that can deliver more performance with less power and fewer transistors.

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