Intel’s Oak Trail Atom Z670 Processors Briefly Appear In Official Price Lists4:43 PM EST Mon. Mar. 28, 2011
Intel Sunday mistakenly added to its online list pricing a system-on-a-chip (SOC) from its Atom-based Oak Trail platform aimed the tablet market. Intel subsequently removed the processor from the list.
Several online reports over the weekend notedthe appearance of Intel’s Oak Trail Atom Z670 processor on Intel’s Web site, indicating the commercial availability of the Atom Z670 itself as well as the potential availability of devices running the processor.
However, an Intel spokesperson Monday told CRN that Intel has not officially launched Oak Trail, while confirming reports that the Oak Trail Atom Z670 did in fact appear on the company’s price lists -- by error.
Intel’s Atom Z670 reportedly includes a single, dual-threaded x86 processing core featuring Intel’s Hyper-Threading technology, as well as 512kB of L2 cache, 1.5 GHz clock speed, and a built-in 32-bit memory controller. The processor reportedly was briefly listed at $75.
Intel previously told CRN that it will offer Windows 7 support for Oak Trail by adding two Atom chipsets code-named Lincroft and Whitney Point to its Oak Trail S0C series. Thus Intel says its new line of processors will power systems across several platforms and provides a 50 percent reduction in power consumption, along with extended battery life and full 1080p HD video support.
Intel also told CRN that the new version of the company's popular Atom processor will be optimized for tablets, along with newer netbooks, and feature lower power consumption and improved thermodynamics. It also will run multiple operating systems, including MeeGo, Linux and Microsoft Windows and will be available in the first quarter of 2011.
As Apple’s iPad, which runs on an SOC from British chip design firm ARM, continues to dominate the tablet market with 87 percent of total market share according to Gartner in 2010, Intel is hoping its own low-power processors can eventually compete in the market by adopting various platforms. While the prolonged wait for Oak Trail continues, manufacturers including Samsung and Fujitsu at CES 2011 in January showed off upcoming tablets running Intel’s Atom Z670 Oak Trail chip.
At the event Samsung showed off its new Series 7 Slider tablet running Intel’s Oak Trail platform, specifically the Atom Z670 processor, and Windows 7. The device was reportedly scheduled to come to market in March and cost $699.
NEXT: Intel’s Tablet Difficulties
Another Oak Trail-powered tablet on display at CES, Fujitsu’s upcoming Windows 7-based Stylistic Q550 tablet also features Intel’s Oak Trail processors. Fujitsu said the device is due in April, and is targeting enterprise customers with additional security features.
Reports have emerged since CES that notebook manufacturers are hesitant to adopt Intel’s Oak Trail processors, as only Fujitsu, Toshiba and Samsung have said they are preparing Oak Trail tablets, while HP for one scrapped its Oak Trail tablet plans.
Nevertheless, Intel has said it wants to get in the tablet market using Oak Trail, which the chipmaker unveiled last June at Computex.
Aside from the technical challenge of offering low-power processors for smaller form factor devices, Intel is presented with a series of other challenges to its ambitions in the mobile space. Most recently, last week the head of Intel’s Ultra Mobility Group, who was responsible for both tablet and smartphone processor platforms, resigned unexpectedly. In addition, Intel faces competition from partnering rivals ARM and Nvidia, in both mobile and server markets.