Intel promises 20 "Clover Trail" Windows 8 tablets

6 Jun 2012

Computex keynote reveals Intel's plans for future Ultrabooks

Intel has revealed 20 tablets running Windows 8 and its "Clover Trail" system-on-a-chip are being developed by its partners.

Intel has struggled to make a mark in the mobile market - which is dominated by chips designed by ARM - but the chip giant is stepping up its efforts, releasing last week its first Atom-powered smartphone in the UK, the Orange San Diego.

Speaking at Computex, Intel senior vice president Tom Kilroy said the company had 20 design wins for Windows 8 tablets running on its upcoming 32nm Atom SOC, codenamed Clover Trail.

Kilroy didn't say which manufacturers were creating the tablets or when they would be available, although Acer, Lenovo and Toshiba all showed off Windows 8 tablets at the tech show. Windows 8 is expected to be shipping on devices this year.

Intel also said 35 Ultrabooks were already available, with 110 designs expected by next year. Kilroy said next-gen devices would feature touchscreens, and Intel has signed agreements with several touch panel makers to ensure there is sufficient supply for future Ultrabooks.

Computex

"The innovation must continue as we move to touch-based Ultrabook convertible designs, and in the future aim to give them and other devices senses, making our interaction with them natural and intuitive," Kilroy said.

Intel also revealed developments in the Ultrabook chassis, saying its engineers have borrowed from automotive and aerospace industries to create a new plastic version that's lighter, stronger and cheaper than existing metal bodies. The new design should be making its way into Ultrabooks by next year, Intel said.

ARM movements

While Intel is pushing into tablets and smartphones, ARM is going in the opposite direction, targeting servers and laptops.

Earlier this month, Dell started shipping its first ARM-based server, although only to limited partners. ARM told Bloomberg it's hoping to grab up to 10% of the server chip market by 2016, and 20% of laptops by 2015.

Set to arrive within months, Windows 8 will be the first version of Microsoft's OS to run on ARM-designed chips. However, that version, dubbed Windows RT, has yet to be publicly demoed, unlike the standard x86 version, which has seen three downloadable "previews".

Acer claimed over the weekend that Windows 8 on ARM performance "isn't great", saying devices based on ARM chips won't ship until 2013.

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