Intel Atom Clover Trail chips for tablets due in second half of 2012
Intel has announced that it’s on track to release its Clover Trail processor platform in the second half of 2012… right around the time that Microsoft plans to release Windows 8.
The low power x86 processors will succeed the Atom Z670 Oak Trail chips that have been out since last year. Clover Trail processors are 32nm chips. We won’t see 22nm Atom processors until 2013, but by 2014 we should have 14nm Atom chips at the same time as Intel’s more powerful processors move to 14nm.
Intel isn’t spilling many details about the overall power or performance, but tablets with Oak Trail processors are expected to get about 8 to 10 hours of battery life and weeks of standby time. While today’s low power atom chips offer decent run time, that increase in standby time is new.
Since these are x86 chips though, Windows 8 tablets with Clover Trail may be able to run legacy PC apps.
Windows 8 tablet with ARM processors, on the other hand, won’t be able to run the millions of desktop apps written for x86 devices. Instead they’ll be limited to apps designed for the new Metro user interface included in Windows 8, and most consumer versions of Windows 8 ARM tablets will only allow users to download and install apps from the Windows app store.