At the Intel Developer Forum this week, new Intel CEO Brian Krzanich and Intel President Renée James laid out their vision for tablets, phones and wearables and described new products expected over the next year and beyond.
Surprises included the first working laptop running on a 14nm “Broadwell” Core processor and a smartphone powered by a 22nm “Silvermont” Atom chip. Silvermont is the 22nm micro architecture used by the Atom-based Bay Trail-T (for tablets) and Merrifield (for phones), due in early 2014. Broadwell is the 14 nm shrink of Haswell, due in a year or so.
Krzanich said that Intel this week will introduce “Bay Trail,” Intel’s first 22nm system-on-a-chip (SoC) for mobile devices. “Bay Trail” is based on the company’s new low-power, high-performance Silvermont microarchitecture, which will power a range of Android and Windows designs, most notably tablets and 2 in 1 devices (running both Windows and Android).
The Baytrail M for 2-in-1 Convertible designs and notebooks with touch includes a range of parts for the following market categories .
- Intel Celeron N2910, quad-core, 1.6Ghz with Burst Technology, GPU Clock: 756Mhz (4 EUs), 7.5W TDP (more)
- Intel Celeron N2810, dual-core, 2Ghz with Burst Technology, GPU Clock: 756Mhz (4 EUs), 7.5W TDP (more)
- Intel Celeron N2805, dual-core, 1.46Ghz with Burst Technology, GPU Clock: 667Mhz (4 EUs), 4.5W TDP (more)
- Intel Pentium N3510, quad-core, 2.0Ghz with Burst Technology, GPU Clock: 750Mhz (4 EUs), 7.5W TDP (more)
In each category Intel also has a Haswell-based offering with higher TDP and higher processing power.
The Atom-based Bay Trail-T processor is targeting ARM-based competition from Apple, Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Samsung. Bay Trail D and M will be rebranded as Celeron and Pentium for low cost desktop or laptops.
Silvermont is the first major overhaul of the Atom CPU architecture since it was introduced in 2008. The main performance improvement will come from the CPU’s new out-of-order (OoO) execution engine. The GPU uses the Ivy Bridge’s HD 4000, which supports 2560×1440 displays and can use DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.0 and OpenGL ES 3.0 on mobile.
According to Krzanich, more than 20 Android and Windows 8 tablets based Intel’s new Bay Trail Atom SoC will be on sale by the US holiday season, with prices ranging to below $100, he said.
Haswell laptops and ultrabooks are becoming available this year with newer Intel core processors, while older laptops and hybrids, like the Ivy Bridge series are getting discounted.
“Smartphones and tablets are not the end-state,” he said. The next wave of computing is still being defined. Wearable computers and sophisticated sensors and robotics are only some of the initial applications.”
Krzanich announced the Intel Quark processor family. The new lower-power products will extend Intel’s reach to growing segments from the industrial Internet-of-Things to wearable computing. Designers will not be allowed to customize the Quark core. They can only connect third-party blocks to its fabric. Intel will allow some process tweaks for some customers, he added.
Intel will sample form-factor reference boards based on the first product in this family during the fourth quarter of this year to help partners accelerate development of tailored, optimized solutions initially aimed at the industrial, energy and transportation segments.
In her presentation, James envisioned a new era in which every device and every object computes, meaning that integrated computing solutions must be smaller, faster, more versatile and produced in higher volume.
“Semiconductor-based technology will continue to address the world’s most pressing problems and exciting opportunities, changing how we live our lives, run our cities and care for our health,” said James. “Intel has played a pivotal role in every previous technology transition and will continue to enable breakthroughs in the future.”
In high-speed 4G wireless data communications, Krzanich said Intel’s new LTE solution provides a compelling alternative for multimode, multiband 4G connectivity in the smartphone market. Intel is now shipping a multimode chip, the Intel XMM 7160 modem, which Intel claims is one of the world’s smallest and lowest-power multimode-multiband solutions for global LTE roaming.
Krzanich said that the company’s next-generation LTE product, the Intel XMM 7260 modem, is now under development. Expected to ship in 2014, it will deliver LTE-Advanced features, such as carrier aggregation.
He also demonstrated a smartphone featuring both the Intel XMM 7160 LTE chip teamed with Intel’s “Merrifield”, their next-generation Atom for 2014 smartphones and tablets.
Based on the Silvermont microarchitecture, “Merrifield” will deliver increased performance, power-efficiency and battery life over Intel’s current-generation offering. “Merrifield” is targeting smartphones while “Bay Trail” is targeting tablets and laptops.
Intel also unveiled its dual-core, mobile-oriented Haswell parts. The chips are similar to their quad-core desktop brethren, just with half the cores. The Core i7-4650U is equipped with the new Intel Iris (HD 5000) GPU, and the Core i5-4200Y, hits an SDP of just 6W.
The new Core i3-4012Y processor for tablets and notebooks, has a TDP of 11.5W, or what Intel calls Scenario Design Power of 4.5W, which means that it’ll actually use about as much power as an Intel Atom chip most of the time.
Nobody seems willing to even speculate about it, but an Apple iPad or convertible running both IOS-7 and OS X Mavericks might be one possibility enabled by the new low-power Core i3. Apple will release OSX Mavericks this Fall, about the time the new Intel low power Core chips are ramping up.