Intel on Thursday unveiled the chip that it believes it could offer
the energy efficiency of ARM's chips while delivering superior
performance to tablets.
Tablets with the first Clover Trail - the Atom Z2760 chip - will
become available around the end of October when Microsoft ships
The Atom Z2760 is a dual-core processor that runs at 1.8GHz and has 1MB of L2 cache. Tablets with the Z2760 can include NFC and LTE capabilities, according to Intel. The dual-core, four-thread SoC provides long battery life with more than 3 weeks of connected standby and more than 10 hours of local HD video playback. It also supports
the full Microsoft Office software suite, features an integrated Image Signal Processor with support for a primary camera (up to
8 MP) and secondary camera (up to 2.1 MP). The SoC also includes security features such as Secure
Boot and firmware-based Intel Platform
Trust Technology. The built-in Intel Graphics Media Accelerator runs up to 533 MHz supports one internal MIPI-DSI or LVDS display in
additional to one external HDMI 1.3 display.
The Intel Atom
Processor Z2760 also includes support for LPDDR2, 800 MT/s data rates, up to 2 GB.
| Intel Atom Z2760 - Clovertrail
| Platform Codename
| OS/Platform Target
|| Windows 8 Tablets
| Manufacturing Process
|| 32nm SoC (P1269)
| CPU Cores/Threads
|| 2 / 4
| CPU Clock
|| up to 1.8GHz
|| PowerVR SGX 545
| GPU Clock
| Memory Interface
|| 2 x 32-bit LPDDR2
The initial Clover Trail chips will be tuned to Windows 8, though the company wants to tune the Linux OS to take advantage of and graphics features on the chip. The company also offers Medfield for tablets, with those devices supporting Google's Android.
Intel said Windows 8 devices will have the advantage of supporting
existing Windows applications and drivers, and users will be able to
install existing Windows 7 programs and attach peripherals like
printers and cameras. That could be an issue with Windows RT tablets
(ARM-based), which may prove more popular with users who don't need
that ability. On the other hand, Windows RT devices may have
advantages in price and battery life.
Clover Trail is faster and more power efficient than the previous
Oak Trail chip, which appeared in some Windows 7 tablets starting in
2011. Clover Trail is made using a 32nm manufacturing process.
Device makers have already shown off upcoming tablets with the
Clover Trail chip. Lenovo announced the ThinkPad Tablet 2, while
Hewlett-Packard announced the Envy X2. Asus and Samsung have also
announced Windows 8 tablets with Clover Trail.
Clover Trail will be succeeded next year by a tablet chip made using a 22nm and by a 14nm tablet chip in 2014.
In related news, Today Intel issued a statement in response to news
reports about comments made by Intel CEO Paul Otellini in a meeting
with employees. Intel CEO was quoted as saying that Windows 8 OS
still needs work and optimization.
"Intel has a long and successful heritage working with Microsoft on
the release of Windows platforms, delivering devices that provide
exciting experiences, stunning performance, and superior
compatibility. Intel fully expects this to continue with Windows 8,"
Intel said in a statement.
"Intel, Microsoft and our partners have been working closely
together on testing and validation to ensure delivery of a
high-quality experience across the nearly 200 Intel-based designs
that will start launching in October."
Intel CEO Paul Otellini is on record as saying "Windows 8 is one of
the best things that ever happened to Intel," citing the importance
of the touch interface coming to mainstream computing and the huge
wave of exciting new Ultrabook, tablet and convertible device
innovations coming to the market.