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Bay Trail may end up in $300 touch-enabled notebooks

At Intel’s Q1 2013 earnings call, CEO Paul Otellini and CFO Stacy Smith hinted that ‘Bay Trail’ Atom processors are a big deal for the company.

It was a long time coming but at CES 2013, Intel finally showcased its Bay Trail platform employing the company’s 22nm process and 3D Tri-Gate transistors. The processors also comprise an entirely new (out-of-order) Atom microarchitecture. Oddly, Intel has left the Atom architecture unchanged since its launch back in 2008. The chip giant has furthermore replaced PowerVR graphics with its in-house Intel HD Graphics 4000, according to CNET.

Bay Trail processors for tablets will be first to hit the market and have a total of four CPU cores. For all the changes Intel is making to its Atom processors, it is almost surprising the company is claiming ‘only’ a two-fold increase in computing performance (compared to Intel’s current-generation tablet offering).

The Bay Trail platform is scheduled to be in tablets for the 2013 holiday season and according to Intel, “is already up and running on Windows and Android and will help enable new experiences in designs as thin as 8mm that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby.” Intel revealed reference tablet designs from Compal and Pegatron back at CES, while at MWC 2013 announced support from yet more ODMs such as ECS, Quanta, and Wistron.

According to Seeking Alpha’s transcripts of Intel’s Q1 2013 earnings call, CEO Paul Otellini believes ‘touch price points’ will be coming down rapidly in the next couple of quarters. Meanwhile CFO Stacy Smith thinks Bay Trail will display “stunning performance relative to what the competition can bring”. Intel is optimistic that Bay Trail touch-enabled notebooks could end up in the $300 to $400 price range.


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Alex Storey, 2013-04-18 (Update: 2013-04-18)