IDF 2013 | Intel details Bay Trail-M Atom Z3000 series, "SDP" as low as 4.5 Watts
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With last year's Intel Developer Forum focusing heavily on the powerful Core architecture, this year's event is having a much more different kind of tone: low power SoCs for less expensive Ultrabooks and tablets.
The Bay Trail codename will live on as part of Intel's latest Atom Z3000 series of processors. Seven discrete SKUs will be available from the start: four for mobile platforms (rated for 7.5 W TDP) and three for desktop variants (rated for 10 W TDP). This will also be the first time that a quad-core Celeron will be made available to consumers.
Intel's new proprietary TDP measurement - called Scenario Design Power (SDP) - rates Bay Trail power draw as low as 4.5 W. According to Intel Marketing Engineer Patrick Wong, the 4.5 W SDP sacrifices "marginal" performance for a nearly 50 percent reduction in power demand. Exactly how marginal the performance cost will be was not detailed, but it will certainly make for interesting benchmark scenarios once Bay Trail devices come to market later this year.
Nonetheless, the reduced power envelope will allow for up to 8 hours of idling time, 6 hours of of HD playback or 2 weeks of standby, says Intel. Note, however, that manufacturer battery estimates are typically overrated as custom components and software will more than likely have a negative impact on estimated maximums. Compared to ARM-based systems like the Yoga 11, the current x86 Atom Clover Trail series is lagging behind handily in terms of total runtime.
The most noteworthy goal of the new Z3000 series is its target platform of Ultrabook and tablet 2-in-1 form factors for as low as $349. The architecture promises to bring twice the graphics power of the current Atom generation with its Sandy Bridge-class integrated GPU and standard support for dual independent displays up to 2560 x 1600 pixels, hardware acceleration for flawless 1080p playback, and both dual-channel memory and high-speed I/Os including USB 3.0 and SATA III. These features have been common on most mainstream products for the past couple of years, but to have them available under $400 will certainly give Intel the leg up it needs in the merging Ultrabook-tablet market.