Intel reportedly is working on chips specifically designed for tablets, according to a report in DigiTimes.
reportedly is developing a new family of processors designed specifically for
tablets, a move that would be a departure from previous plans to have the
upcoming Atom "Medfield" platform support both smartphones and tablets.
According to a
Nov. 11 report from
news Website DigiTimes
, the new
tablet-focused lineup of chips will come out in 2012, and Intel executives
expect it will enable the giant chip maker to compete more directly with ARM
Holdings-whose chip designs dominate the mobile-device space, including
smartphones and tablets-particularly in terms of thermal design power (TDP) and
"industry sources," DigiTimes
reported that over the next two years, Intel will work to drive down the TDP
levels of chips for both smartphones and tablets to less than 10 watts while
speeding up the cadence of upgrades to new chips from every two years to every
According to Digitimes'
sources, Intel also is
planning to launch three new chipsets-the 32-nanometer "Saltwell," 22nm
"Silvermont" and 14nm "Airmont"-over the next three years.
looking to make an aggressive move into the booming mobile-device space, and
next year promises to be a key one for the chip maker. Intel is taking several
avenues, not only with its Atom platform for smartphones and tablets, but also
with its Core processors in both tablets and ultrabooks, very thin and light
notebooks that executives say will offer traditional laptop capabilities and features
found in tablets. Intel also has a partnership
in which the search engine giant will optimize its Android
mobile operating system around Intel's Atom platform.
tablet-focused chips would add to Intel's arsenal as it tries to compete in the
strategy holds promise for Intel, which is the world's top chip maker but has
little if any presence in the mobile-device market. Executives introduced the
idea in May at the Computex 2011 show, outlining a device that is no thicker
than 0.8 inches and has tablet-like features, ranging from long battery life
and instant-on capabilities to the use of solid-state drives. Eventually, other
features, including touch capabilities, will be added.
become the key issue, however. To compete with Apple's popular MacBook Pro, the
ultrabooks need to come in at less than $1,000, and probably significantly less
for them to compete with the myriad tablets on the market, particularly Apple's
iPad. However, the first ultrabooks out this quarter-from the likes of Acer,
Asus and Toshiba-include some priced as low as $899, but most are well over
looking to help drive down the costs of components through a $300 million fund
designed for companies making hardware and software for ultrabooks, as well as
through reference designs for OEMs. The first ultrabooks are based on Intel's 2nd
Generation Core Sandy Bridge chips, though Intel executives say they expect
significantly more OEM designs when Intel's "Ivy Bridge" processors are
released next year.
unlikely to hit its initial goal of having 40 percent of all notebooks sold by
the end of 2012 being ultrabooks, but market research firm IHS iSuppli said in
a report Nov. 7 that they could account
for 43 percent
with media tablets, notebook PCs must become sexier and more appealing to
consumers," Matthew Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at IHS
iSuppli, said in a statement. "With media tablets having already reversed the
expansion of the previously fast-growing netbook platform, PC makers now are
keenly aware that the notebook must evolve to maintain market growth and
relevance. Enter the ultrabook, which borrows some of the form-factor and
user-interface advantages of the media tablet to enhance the allure of the