Desktops and Notebooks: Intel Atom-Powered Tablets, Netbooks on Display at IDF
SAN FRANCISCOIntel executives are putting a lot of emphasis on their low-power Atom platform as a key to the company's future. Initially introduced a few years ago for the netbook space, Atom chips are now becoming the cornerstone for Intel's aggressive push into the mobile computing space, particularly in smartphones and tablets. Earlier this year, the giant chip maker introduced the latest version, the Z670 "Oak Trail" Atom processors, and the company is readying the next model, "Cedar Trail," which will begin appearing in devices in 2012. Intel got a big boost in its mobile computing efforts Sept. 13, when executives announced an alliance with Google in which the search engine giant will optimize future versions of its popular Android mobile operating system for the Atom platform. The move will give Intel a strong partner as it looks to take on ARM, whose chip designs dominate the booming smartphone and tablet spaces. It also will help ease the problems caused earlier this year, when Nokia backed out of a partnership with Intel to develop the open-source MeeGo mobile OS in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone. At the Intel Developer Forum here, Intel officials are showing off a wide range of mobile computing devices powered by Atom and running a variety of operating systems, including Windows, MeeGo and Google Chrome.