Print 28 comment(s) - last by inighthawki.. on Nov 26 at 9:45 PM

Bump will allow for faster graphics, cryptography and high-def video processing, future-prep tablets

Intel's recently released low-power Atom processor Bay Trail platform already offers hardware support for 64-bit addressing, plus on-chip acceleration of certain graphics and cryptography functions in double-precision.  Bay Trail based tablets with Google Inc.'s (GOOG) popular Android mobile operating system are expected to start this holiday season at $150 USD.
As with ARM Holdings plc's (LON:ARM) push for 64-bit (which Apple, Inc. (AAPL) was the first OEM to heed, with its 64-bit A7 SoC), a key reason for Intel's push appears to be software compatibility.  While tablets don't typically have more than 4 GB, and thus technically don't need 64-bit from an addressing standpoint, that's expected to change within a couple of years when today's laptop technology (8-16 GB in high-end models) trickles down to ultra-mobile market.  64-bit also allows faster register operations on big data I/O such as 4K video.  By introducing 64-bit now, the industry is preparing in advance for this shift from a firmware/programming perspective.
The only thing holding Bay Trail back from going 64-bit at this point is Google.  Android's 64-bit branches for x86 and ARM are still in the experimental stages.  The story is the same with Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows 8.1, which currently is only shipping in 32-bit form with Bay Trail tablets.
ASUS Transformer Book
The ASUSTek Computer Inc. (TPE:2357
) Transformer Book T100TA 10.1-inch convertible tablet with Windows 8.1, 32-bit edition, and a 64-bit Bay Trail SoC

Intel pointed out the fact that Bay Trail tablets don't need a 64-bit operating system as they have less than 4 GB of memory to address.  But there's obviously more to the story than that, because why would Intel add features to the chip that can't be used?
According to reports, the answer is that Microsoft rushed the release of Windows 8.1 and thus certain functionality is broken or absent in the 64-bit edition.  For example sleep and instant wakeup for tablets is only available in the 32-bit version of Windows, making 64-bit Windows 8.1 an unacceptable choice for now from a battery life perspective.
The good news is that both Android and Windows 8.1 should be patched up for 64-bit operation in Q1 2014, according to a new report.  The Android 64-bit build will be based on the Android 4.4 release and will be free; it's unclear whether Windows users purchasing current Windows 8.1 tablets (32-bit) will have a similar free upgrade option.  Ultimately, users likely won't see much of a difference with the firmware shift, but it's an important step for the industry to take, in some regards.

Bay Trail -- chipset

Intel hopes to see 40 million tablet sales this year.  That's about an 18 percent stake in a market that's expected to sell around 227 million units this year, according to the Interactive Data Corp. (IDC).  Still if Intel can make good on that goal it will a massive step up from the roughly 7 percent market share Intel saw in 2012, its first year making a major tablet push.

The bad news (or good news if you're an Intel fan) is that the rival ARM-based Windows RT is reportedly stuck in 32-bit mode for good, although the next major release may carry along 64-bit perks for the ARM-based Windows OS.

Sources: PC World, ComputerWorld, Motley Fool

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By ET on 11/26/2013 4:27:11 AM , Rating: 2
I think there's a chance we'll see Windows tablets with 4GB as early as 1H 2014. Bay Trail is a good start, but Moorefield with 64-bit Windows and 4GB of RAM in an 8" factor could really be the device to bridge tablets and full PC's. I can imagine using such a tablet docked as a main PC (laptop alternative).

Wintard OS 8.1
By Argon18 on 11/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By retrospooty on 11/25/2013 2:40:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, MS is not shinning too brightly lately. Win7 was great, since then, all downhill.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/25/2013 3:55:16 PM , Rating: 3
Under the covers Win 8.1 is a step up from Win 7. There are some real improvements made internally.

It is those covers though that provides the majority of my hate for the current releases of Windows. The hate is not strong enough to push me to Linux (though I do run Linux in my VMs), but it is enough to stop me from spending money on Windows upgrades beyond Windows 7.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By retrospooty on 11/25/2013 4:05:57 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly where I am. Perfectly happy with Win7. I actually tried 8 and kept it installed on my primary system for like 6 months before I just couldn't stand it any more.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Motoman on 11/25/2013 6:49:42 PM , Rating: 2's fine if you install Start8 or Pokki or something...

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By retrospooty on 11/25/2013 8:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I had ClassicShell and Start8 the whole time. The new start screen was totally unacceptable, not good for one day. I still didn't like it even with ClassicShell and Start8.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By inighthawki on 11/26/2013 6:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
You mean that thing that never appears with classic shell installed? I don't understand...

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Motoman on 11/26/2013 7:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure what the problem is with Start8 - it's basically exactly like the Win7 start menu, as far as I can tell.

Haven't tried ClassicShell. Pokki is a bit on the funky side, but it's free and seems OK.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By inighthawki on 11/26/2013 9:45:19 PM , Rating: 2
I use classicshell, and having also tried start8 at one point, I find classic shell to be far more like the win7 start menu than start 8, and less intrusive with programs and unnecessary services running in the background.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By StormyKnight on 11/25/2013 11:53:12 PM , Rating: 2
Perfectly happy with Win7.

As I am. I spent 5 minutes on a laptop with a touch screen and one without a touchscreen. Not impressed. Not even remotely. I will run Win7 for as long as I can. Can't stand Metro UI.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By bupkus on 11/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Spuke on 11/25/2013 4:52:23 PM , Rating: 4
Not nearly as dumb as all the "I hate Windows 8 please give me back my start button I'm an 8 year old n00b" whining that's about to happen.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By themaster08 on 11/25/2013 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 3
1What is the point in your post? Your beloved linux-based Android is also only 32-bit. What is your point?

I know, to take a cheap shot towards Microsoft. Your hatred towards this company is unhealty. Seek mental health treatment.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Argon18 on 11/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/25/2013 6:08:06 PM , Rating: 5
You think Microsoft is the only company guilty of that?

I've seen an awful lot of half-baked crap released on Linux too. Three are as well a lot of places where Linux needs a lot of help as well. It sure as hell isn't the perfect answer that its supporters claim.

Regardless, every software company I am aware of releases software that includes a huge list of bugs not resolved due to deadlines - particularly the large ones. At least Microsoft pushes fixes and updates out to you on a regular basis.

Welcome to the real world.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By inighthawki on 11/25/2013 6:40:37 PM , Rating: 4
Argon, you are reading only the words that you want. Microsoft did not ship a half baked product, they shipped a product that does not support Bay Trail on x64. There is no Bay Trail device shipping with 64 bit Windows. There is no broken software on any Bay Trail devices out there, and Windows x64 works fine on all other devices.

So for the love of God please stop your b*tching every waking moment about Microsoft. If you don't like it then just STFU, don't buy the product and go use something else. It's not that hard. You don't have to troll every Microsoft related article with random unwarranted bias.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Lord 666 on 11/25/2013 8:44:46 PM , Rating: 2
But have to add that Bay Trail is actually pretty good. Have been working units of the 64gb version of the Transformer for work. For the $300 BJ's will have it on sale for this week, its a tremendous value. Even at $375 that Amazon has it, can't go wrong for an all around device... especially for full Windows 8.1. Will even add that Windows 8.1 is not that bad and actually makes some sense on the hybrid/Transformer type devices. Instead of trying to install 8.1 x64, I am going to try a Clover-based Hackintosh as some people have already put Linux on it.

Would I personally buy it for my primary laptop, currently a Mini 311? Possibly, but the ram is too limiting and keyboard a fraction too small. That's why I am looking at HP Spectre or split X2; 13.3" and 128gb ssd. However, I can buy three of the Transformers and still have money left over for the cost of the Spectre.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By damianrobertjones on 11/25/2013 3:15:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather it be done right than have something crap.

P.s. Windows has been 64bit for oens.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Flunk on 11/25/2013 4:08:30 PM , Rating: 2
I suggest you buy an iPad post-haste seeing a that's the only Tablet you can get that currently supports 64-bit, not that it needs it today.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By inighthawki on 11/25/2013 4:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
This sounds exclusive to bay trail, not to 64-bit OSs in general. I have a 64-bit Win8.1 laptop that works beautifully with sleep and instant wakeup and sips power on haswell.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By kyuuketsuki on 11/25/13, Rating: 0
RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By drycrust3 on 11/25/2013 4:42:30 PM , Rating: 2
How typical, shipping half-baked broken garbage, and expecting the consumer to pay their hard earned dollars for this trash.

To me, that isn't typical of Microsoft, and no, I'm not one of their fan boys, I run Linux Mint on my computer. As an aside, if you feel such a strong negative emotion towards Microsoft, why not choose another operating system, there are lots to choose from.
My first experience of Microsoft products goes back to the early 90s, and the thing that stood out was their products did pretty much exactly what they were supposed to do, not much more, but what they did they did well... oh, and they had a black font on a white background. To me, I can't see why Microsoft shipped the 64 bit "upgrade" version with features missing when compared to the 32 bit version, they would have been better waiting until the features were complete and then shipping it.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Argon18 on 11/25/13, Rating: -1
RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By Monkey's Uncle on 11/25/2013 6:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
So glad I kicked that trash to the curb back in 1996, after suffering through the Win95 turd, and have never purchased a single Microsoft product since then.

This pretty much makes anything you have to say on the matter of Microsoft products uninformed BS.

Of course you can always admit here to pirating their products. But you wouldn't do that now would you.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By coburn_c on 11/25/2013 8:40:59 PM , Rating: 2
A lot of blue-screens are due to hardware vendors poor driver coding. Microsoft has to support a whole world of hardware and periphery.. one could say it created that whole world. Meanwhile Apple only supports hardware and periphery licensed by them, with drivers coded into the kernel. Linux barely supports any hardware and periphery.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By retrospooty on 11/25/2013 9:30:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, you can say microsoft isnt quite as stable and there are viruses, but the fact is no one else supports the entire world. Microsoft does, and there is no close second... There is no second place at all, there is MS and no one else.

RE: Wintard OS 8.1
By retrospooty on 11/25/2013 9:27:17 PM , Rating: 2
"So glad I kicked that trash to the curb back in 1996, after suffering through the Win95 turd, and have never purchased a single Microsoft product since then."

That actually makes a lot of sense. Now we know that your uninformed opinion is truly uninformed. Your ridiculous arguments are over 15 years old. Guess what? A lot has changed in the past 15 years. MS makes the software the entire world runs off including every factory that makes every Mac every iPhone and iPad and every Android as well. Good luck with your stupid.

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