The Intel Developer Forum kicks off in San Francisco today, and the company is outlining some of its plans and expectations for the future. Some of the highlights aren’t really surprises: Next-gen Atom chips, code-named “Bay Trail” will ship soon. 5th-gen Core chips, code-named “Broadwell” are coming next year. ANd 22nm chips for phones are on the way.
But Intel did pull out a few surprises. New CEO Brian Krzanich says we should expect Intel-powered tablets with prices under $100 by the 2013 holiday season. There’s a tiny new chip called “Quark” designed for the internet of things. And we got our first look at Lenovo’s Miix 8 Windows tablet.
Intel’s upcoming Broadwell chips will follow this year’s Haswell processors. They’re due out in the second half of 2014, and they’ll be the company’s first 14nm processors.
The move to 14nm comes with a reduction in power consumption, and Kzranich says these chips will use 30 percent less power than Haswell processors — which already represent a significant improvement over last year’s chips.
Improved efficiency means that Intel will be able to offer the same performance at lower power consumption, or better performance at the same wattage. For instance, Kzranich showed off an HP laptop with a 4.5W processor and no internal fans.
We’ve seen plenty of tablets with ARM-based chips and extraordinarily low price tags in recent months. Intel is suggesting that it’s upcoming Atom chips will power tablets with prices below $100.
It’s likely that we’re talking about Android tablets at that price point rather than Windows models. And I wouldn’t expect spectacular displays or large batteries. But you can forgive a lot of omissions for the right price.
Intel’s new Quark processor family is designed for the “internet of things” which includes wearable computers and other devices meant to talk to one another. It’s a tiny, low-power chip meant for devices where low power consumption trumps high performance.
It’s one fifth the size of an Atom chip and uses one tenth the power. As AnandTech notes, these chips will likely compete with ARM Cortex-M and Cortex-R chips in the low power, embedded space.
Reference boards with Quark chips will start shipping in the 4th quarter of 2013.