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Intel ratchets up production on 'Oak Trail' Atom chips

by Pete Mason on 24 November 2010, 14:30

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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We got a sneak peak at Intel's Oak Trail platform at IDF and from what we've heard, the upcoming Atom CPUs could have a pretty big impact once they finally arrive. In fact, a number of major manufacturers have expressed a serious interest in using the chips for a new wave of Intel-powered tablets.

If the latest word from Digitimes is to be believed, Intel has now begun full-scale production on the processors, meaning that they're on target for an early 2011 launch.

The source suggests that the Lincroft-based Atom Z670 CPU and the SM35 chipset will be the first to arrive and will sell for around $25 including a copy of Intel's MeeGo operating system. Even though the chip is unlikely to pose a serious threat to ARM-based SoCs in terms of power-consumption or price, it's likely to garner attention for the its use of an x86 architecture that will allow it to run Windows, Android or MeeGo.

According to the manufacturer, the Oak Trail platform will deliver significantly improved performance - especially in video playback - and reduced power consumption compared to the Silverthorne-based Atom Z500-series CPUs that it will replace. It's for these reasons that some manufacturers are believed to have delayed the development of Intel-based tablets.

However, it obviously remains to be seen whether these sorts of devices can compete with their ARM-based counterparts, especially when you consider the added cost of a full copy of Windows.

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