Intel is finally getting ready to push out its next-generation low power Atom chip designed for tablets and other ultraportable devices. The Intel Atom Z670 is the first chip based on the company’s Oak Trail platform, and while it’s not quite on par with ARM-based chips in terms of power consumption and standby capabilities just yet, Oak Trail chips have one major advantage: They’re x86 processors which means you can run Windows on an Oak Trail system without waiting for Microsoft to completely retool the operating system to support ARM chips.
Intel says that more than 35 products will ship this year with Oak Trail chips, starting in May. That includes devices from Fujitsu, Lenovo, Motion Computing and Viliv.
The Intel Atom Z670 chip is a 45nm low power processor which supports fanless computer designs allowing for nearly silent computing without excessive heat build up. The fanless design also means the Oak Trail chips can go in thinner laptop and tablet computers than current Intel chips.
The Atom Z670 is a single core 1.5 GHz 32-bit chip with support for hyperthreading. It has a max TDP of 3W. The processor includes the Intel SM35 Express Chipset with support for Intel HD audioand 1080p HD video decoding. There’s also hardware support for Adobe Flash.
Intel is also already talking up the next-generation Atom chip platform called Cedar Trail, which will support Blu-ray 2.0 video support, DisplayPort technology, and Intel’s new wireless display and audio technologies. Cedar Trail chips should be out before the end of the year, as Intel steps up the pace for low power chip development in an effort to compete with Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Texas Instruments, and the other players that are dominating the tablet space.