By Jennifer LeClaire / Mobile Tech Today. Updated January 08, 2013.
Intel is making the most of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this year, which is heavily focused on mobility. Intel outlined a plan to "accelerate new mobile-device experiences" across its smartphone, tablet and Ultrabook lines.
Specifically, Intel announced a new smartphone platform for emerging markets, details on a coming 22nm quad-core system-on-a-chip (SoC) for tablets, and more personal and intuitive Ultrabook devices in innovative convertible designs.
"We are set to deliver the biggest increase in battery efficiency in Intel's history with fourth-generation Intel Core processors, while adding broad new human interfaces to computing devices through touch, voice, facial recognition, and gesture-based interactions," said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group. "We're also significantly extending the performance and power savings in Atom processors as we accelerate our mobile offerings in an unprecedented fashion in 2013."
Low Power, High Performance
First up, Intel unveiled a platform and smartphone reference design based on a new low-power Atom processor-- known as "Lexington" -- and targeted at the value smartphone market segment. Industry sources predict demand could reach 500 million units by 2015. Acer, Lava International and Safaricom announced support for the platform.
Bell also highlighted the coming Intel Atom Z2580 processor platform -- known as "Clover Trail+" -- targeted at performance and mainstream smartphones. The platform includes a dual-core Atom processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, and also features a dual-core graphics engine. Bell said the new platform will deliver up to two times the performance benefits over Intel's current-generation solution and competitive power and battery life.
Tapping Tablet Fever
On the tablet front, Bell reinforced the range of designs based on the Atom Z2760 running Windows 8 now on shelves, and said more tablet designs are scheduled to ship over coming weeks.
Bell also unveiled details about the company's next-generation 22nm Atom SoC, code-named "Bay Trail," which is already booting and scheduled to be available for holiday 2013. The first quad-core Atom SoC will include improved integrated security offerings.
"With Bay Trail we will build on the work done with our current SoC development and accelerate very quickly by leveraging Intel's core computing strengths," Bell said. "We will take advantage of the tremendous software assets and expertise at our disposal to deliver the best products with best-in-class user experiences."
New Ultrabook Convertibles
Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, announced the company is bringing the low-power line of processors into its existing third-generation Intel Core processor family. Now available, Intel said these chips will operate as low as 7 watts, allowing manufacturers greater flexibility in thinner, lighter, convertible designs.
Currently there are more than a dozen designs in development based on this new low-power offering and they are expected to enable a full PC experience in innovative mobile form factors including tablets and Ultrabook convertibles. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Ultrabook and a future Ultrabook detachable from Acer will be among the first to market this spring based on the new Intel processors and were demonstrated by Skaugen on stage.
"The fourth-generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind," Skaugen said. "We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems, will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls."