Intel Maps Out Plans To Get Atom Inside Tablet PCs


"Intel believes the strength of the Atom franchise can help consumers realize the true potential for a common experience to enable the compute continuum," said Dadi Perlmutter, executive vice president and co-general manager of the Intel Architecture Group, during a keynote at the computing and electronics expo in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based chip giant said in a statement that a new tablet-optimized Atom System-on-Chip (SoC) platform, code-named Oak Trail, would be available to tablet and netbook makers in early 2011. Intel is promising full HD video playback while reducing the power consumption of the platform by 50 percent as compared to earlier Atom platforms.

Oak Trail will run Microsoft Windows 7 and Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems, as well as supporting MeeGo, Intel’s own Linux-based, open-source OS collaboration with Nokia that blends the former’s Moblin and the latter’s Maemo software.

Intel is also shipping new mobile dual-core Atom chips to netbook makers with products expected to be ready for the 2010 holiday season, the company said. The Atom N455 and N475 mobile processors add DDR3 memory support to what Intel has code-named its Pine Trail netbook platform, while the Atom D525 and D425 chips for entry-level desktops will begin shipping to manufacturers on June 21, according to the company.

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Intel is also planning to unleash what it called the “world’s thinnest” netbook platform as part of the Pine Trail roll-out, a dual-core Atom-based set-up code named Canoe Lake that makes possible netbooks measuring just 14 millimeters at their thinnest, Perlmutter said in his keynote.

Another Atom SoC platform, code-named Tunnel Creek, “for the first time will allow other companies to connect their own custom silicon to Intel’s SoC product,” according to the chip giant. Tunnel Creek will be used to power devices ranging from e-readers to fish finders to golf carts, according to Intel.

Perlmutter used to Computex spotlight to stress the variety of market segments Atom is entering that go beyond Intel’s traditional desktop, notebook and server business.

Chinese car company HawTai Automobile, for example, is basing a future in-vehicle entertainment system on the Atom processor and the MeeGo software platform. Intel, Google, Sony and Logitech are collaborating on a project dubbed Google TV that will include “smart TVs” based on Intel’s consumer electronics-optimized Atom processors and Google’s Android operating system, he said.