Intel: Expect 35 different tablets with Oak Trail starting this May
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Intel is about to get quite aggressive in the tablet business with its line of Atom processors.
Intel General Manager Bill Kircos revealed this week that around 35 tablets with Intel’s Oak Trail chipset will begin appearing in the market, starting this May. Big name manufacturers have already signed up for producing the Atom-based tablets, including Lenovo, Samsung, and Fujitsu, according to UTVtechtree. All of these tablets are expected to run at least Windows 7 and MeeGo, although ComputerWorld claims some will run Google’s Android as well.
In the long run, Kircos detailed plans for Intel to catch up in the arms race with the ARM architecture. The latter has been much more successful in mobile platforms as of late, and currently has a better power-to-performance ratio than Atom processors, as acknowledged by Kircos. In order for Intel to stay competitive in the tablet and mobile market, the chipmaker will be shifting to a 22nm fabrication process by 2013, which should definitely allow for decreased heat output and energy drain. In the meantime, Intel will be focusing on its newest upcoming Atom processors, codenamed “Medfield,” “Cedar Trail,” and “Cloverview.” All three chipsets were built from the ground up for low-powered systems, including smartphones and tablets.
"Once Intel gets to 32-nm, and then advances to 22-nm, we expect them to be as energy efficient and effective as ARM," says analyst Jack Gold of J. Gold Associates.
The large amount of Atom-based tablets should also aid Microsoft in the tablet market. Similarly to Intel, the Windows giant is having trouble cracking the mobile market dominated by Android and iOS platforms. Additional ARM-optimized newcomers such as the BlackBerry Tablet OS and Hewlett Packard’s webOS would only add to the difficulty. The abundant amount of x86 tablets coming this year could be a good start for both Intel and Microsoft against the Android and ARM-based heavyweights.
Regardless, expect to hear plenty of new Intel Atom tablet announcements in the coming weeks and months. If Intel intends to make the splash it needs in the mobile market, then these new releases will be it.