Monday, April 29, 2013

Intel to Finally have a Significant Presence in Mobile Computing?

While Intel has made a few phone and tablet chips, they have not been as powerful as ARM competitors and have not been widely used. This may be about to change.

In my first post on this blog I talked about the problem Microsoft, Apple and Intel were having adapting to a world of low-cost computing. Well, it looks like Intel at least finally sees the problem and is responding with appropriately priced chips that they are saying will have performance and power characteristics that are competitive with the current round of ARM-chips. They have fallen short before, but it looks like this time they may actually deliver.

'Wintel' on the wane: Intel goes Google | Business Tech - CNET News

Intel To Produce Android-Powered Laptops - Technology News - redOrbit

From statements at Intel's last earnings call, it does now appear that Intel at last is producing Atom chips at a price that allows low-cost Intel-based Android devices to be produced.

The Bay Trail line of Atom chips are supposed to be shipping next quarter to OEMs and Bay Trail devices are supposed to be available for the Holiday season.

These chips might have better power characteristics than A15-based ARM chips. They are believed to be competitive in performance to the current round of newly released ARM chips... BUT NO BENCHMARKS ARE AVAILABLE YET.

Intel is promising Android laptops starting at $200. Bay Trail tablets, laptops and all-in-one desktops are all expected to be available. Personally, I cannot wait to see Linux Mint run on these things!

This may help Windows 8 with the niche of users that want full Windows on a tablet, but are not pleased with the performance of Intel Clover Trail nor the huge price, heat issues, fan issues and poor battery life of the Microsoft Surface Pro.

The chips should make good, fanless servers for home and small business use as well.

Intel, put this off to the last second though. Linux ARM software is making great progress and Android of course works very well on ARM already. This battle is far from over. It is possible that the NVIDIA Tegra 4 ARM chips will out perform Bay Trail.

We'll have to wait to see if Intel really does deliver, but it may be a very exciting holiday season for those who want to have their computing needs met for less than $400.

One wonders how Microsoft and Apple will respond.

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