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Bay Trail processors to make "slim tablets last all day"

Processor wafer

By Nicole Kobie in Las Vegas

Posted on 8 Jan 2013 at 07:44

Tablets based on Intel's next-generation "Bay Trail" architecture will be available by the end of the year, the chip-maker has confirmed at CES 2013.

Quad-core parts based on the new design will be the most powerful Atom processors yet, Intel said, with double the CPU performance of the existing tablet line-up.

That will allow OEMs to make tablets as thin as 8mm with true all-day battery life, the company said – addressing existing issues with x86 tablets, which ordinarily need to be charged more frequently than their ARM rivals.

Bay Trail is an entirely new Atom microarchitecture produced on a 22nm process, announced vice president of mobile Mike Bell. Intel already has reference devices running Bay Trail, with tablets expected to arrive on shelves by the end of 2013.

Bay Trail is the successor to Clover Trail, the current Atom platform for tablets. "We couldn’t be more happy with the way it's going," Bell claimed, saying ten different OEMs are using the chips.

Slashing energy use

Intel's Ivy Bridge CPUs, officially known as third-generation Core processors, are also being updated to slash energy use.

Power-saving innovations originally intended for the fourth-gen line-up, dubbed Haswell, will be rolled out in Ivy Bridge, with the new chips shipping immediately.

At the moment, third-generation Core chips have a TDP of 15W to 17W, but the new system will slash that to as low as 7W, Intel said.

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