|By Maureen O'Gara||
|October 1, 2012 07:00 AM EDT||
Intel trotted out its first Clover Trail Atom chip Thursday hoping to throw dust in ARM's eyes.
Its message was that it's finally a contender in the mobile space and when Windows 8 finally dawns next month it'll be there in tablets that, unlike the iPad and Android - which are stealing its PC market - can run x86 applications without modification.
And don't think that's not a selling point, especially in the enterprise, although it might take an enterprise to buy the things. The tablets the Atom chip goes in are supposed to cost $700-$1,000 and up although that hasn't been confirmed yet.
Intel said a few months ago that it had 20 design-wins for what is now officially the Atom Z2760 and bunch of them were there in San Francisco to demo their touch-based widgets including Dell, HP, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, LG, Samsung and ZTE.
Devices, running either Windows 8 or Windows 8 Pro on the new dual-core 1.8GHz SoC, can be 8.5mm thick and weigh 1.5 pounds complements of a smaller die size.
(For someone who once wrestled a Compaq portable into the overhead compartment of a plane leaving Comdex - but not without a lot of gallants coming to the rescue of a damsel in distress - thanks again, boys - that's ridiculous and amazing all at the same time. You kids are so spoiled.)
Intel claims the widgets are good for 10 hours of local HD video playback - that's not web work, mind you - or three weeks of battery life in stand-by mode. Battery life is critical in the mobile space and we'll just have to wait and see how Intel really rates.
The widgetry supports Intel Hyper-threading, Intel Burst Technology and firmware-based Intel Platform Trust Technology, integrates NFC, handles two cameras and reaches out to the world via Wi-Fi and 4G LTE.
The 32nm chip has got integrated graphics of up to 533MHz as well as hardware acceleration support for up to 1080p video encode and decode and an embedded multimedia card.
It can handle an external display at the same time as its internal display, supports GPS and offers hardware acceleration for high-def images.
The chip was built specifically for Windows 8 and Intel and Microsoft have reportedly worked for years on the hardware and software so Intel chief Paul Otellini must know what he's talking about when he says Windows 8 isn't ready for prime time yet as Bloomberg said he did.