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Expected to launch 35 tablets by year's end

Intel Corp. is preparing to unveil nearly a dozen new tablet computers that run on its chips at Computex, at the end of May, the Wall Street Journal reports

Intel is seeking to expand beyond PCs and into the mobile market, where ARM has dominated thanks to licensees such as Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Texas Instruments. 

Intel recently announced its new 22nm 3D Tri-Gate transistors that will boost performance by up to 37 percent compared to existing 32nm technology. It's all part of the company's focus on increasing performance while lowering power consumption -- a move aimed directly at ARM and its hold on the smartphone and tablet market.

Intel is launching a new set of Atom chips, codenamed Oak Trail, specifically for tablets. "While the project improves Intel's position, analysts say the company faces an uphill struggle, as it comes late to the game and is also handicapped by its lack of strong partnerships and applications designed for Android or other popular tablet operating systems, unlike its position in the PC world with Microsoft Inc.'s Windows," WSJ reports.

But Navin Shenoy, Intel's general manager for Asia-Pacific, told WSJ that more than 35 Intel-chip-based tablets are targeted to ship by the end of the year. He also mentioned that component shortages from Japan did not affect Intel's supply chain. 



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Oh boo
By MrTeal on 5/18/2011 10:24:49 AM , Rating: 2
I saw the headline and thought that Intel was going to be bringing back the StrongARM name and competing in the ARM space. Too bad, a Tri-Gate ARM on a 22nm process might give me a nice smartphone with a few days of battery life.




RE: Oh boo
By Fluppeteer on 5/18/2011 10:41:55 AM , Rating: 2
Quite. For those without the history: Digital's Alpha team made an ARM-compatible StrongARM chip tuned to the Alpha's process, which - due to this tuning - hit 200MHz when the ARM7 hit 40MHz and the ARM8 was failing to appear - this was around the time of the 133MHz Pentium. Intel acquired the team in question and produced XScale chips for a while. ARMs in general are designed to be quite process-portable; it's very possible that Intel could produce an ARM core tuned to their process at a very high clock speed/low power.

The problem is that ARMs tend to get used in highly-integrated systems - the ARM is effectively a bolt-on bit of custom IP, just like a memory controller or TMDS transceiver. I doubt Intel are in the market for producing lots of variations to accommodate their customers - their current strategy (at least in CPU space) is shoving a few similar parts out the door and getting economies of scale.


RE: Oh boo
By DanNeely on 5/18/2011 10:59:37 AM , Rating: 2
A year or two ago they signed a deal with TSMC to make atom based SoC's to the customers specs. When interest failed to materialize they quietly scrapped it. There's no reason to assume they wouldn't re-approve it if interest were to materialize in the future.


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