PC makers launched the first Windows tablets and notebooks powered by Intel Bay Trail processors in late 2013. Next up, according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, are Android tablets with Bay Trail chips.

He says we should start to see those in the second quarter of 2014 — although at least one device maker has already introduced Android tablets with Bay Trail processors.

DreamTab tablets with Bay Trail

Intel’s Bay Trail chips are low-power processors that have been used in 8 inch Windows tablets with up to 8  hours of battery life and 10 inch models with about 10 hours of run time. They also tend to offer enough performance to run full desktop PC apps — although bleeding edge PC games will likely struggle on a Bay Trail chip.

Still, Intel’s 64-bit chips for mobile devices are among the company’s first that can truly compete with some of the best ARM chips in terms of both performance and power consumption.

While we should start to see more Android tablets with Intel Atom chips based on Bay Trail architecture int he coming months, I did spot one company at CES that’s already using the chips. Kid-friendly tablet maker Fuhu is using Intel Atom Z3740 Bay Trail-M processors in its 8 inch and 12 inch DreamTab tablets.

via CNET



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21 replies on “Android tablets with Intel Bay Trail chips coming in Q2, 2014”

  1. I’m hoping to get an Android phone with a Bay Trail chip. I’m hoping that with Intel providing open source drivers for their SoCs, such a phone is more likely to get updates longer. Well, at least OEMs can’t use the excuse about proprietary drivers being no longer updated to support newer Linux kernels as a reason to stop updates.

    1. I doubt this is going to happen, at least among non-1st tier phone manufacturers.
      Manufacturers are in business to sell phones, and providing drives long after the
      replacements to your phone have been in the market only serves to stop you from
      buying new hardware.

      1. At least 3rd party ROMs will likely have less issues. Very often when someone boasts that their old phone is running whatever latest Android is, they tend to hide the fact that a lot of things don’t work because the proprieatary drivers aren’t compatible with the newest Linux kernel.

        I’m hoping to eventually have an Intel powered phone (maybe next year or the one after that) assuming their smartphone SoCs finally get rid of Imagination Technologies IP, integrate cellular capabilities and open source drivers like their tablet and other x86 chips.

        1. Also, the self-proclaimed power users who would use 3rd party ROMs would tell their non-techy friends to buy the devices that can be supported longer.

          Every non-techy guy knows 5 techy ones (with overlap). Word of mouth could make or break a product.

    2. You will have to wait another device generation at least as Intel is still sticking to Imagination’s PowerVR GPU for the phone version of their SoC…

      Specifically, what will be going into phones won’t be Bay Trail but Merrifield – This is the name of Intel’s next generation Smartphone PLATFORM… While Tangier, is the name of the SYSTEM-ON-CHIP that powers the Merrifield platform…

      Here’s an informative article on it…

      http://seekingalpha.com/article/1884751-intel-competitive-analysis-of-the-upcoming-merrifield-system-on-chip

      Intel’s main push for phones this year is to provide LTE and boost performance… Keep in mind that Bay Trail is the first time they have put even a stripped down version of their Core series GMA into a mobile platform.

      So, Intel still has another generation at least before they’re ready to really compete with mobile GPU’s for devices as low powered as phones have to be to provide adequate run times and not overheat.

      For tablets, there’s more thermal and power efficiency overhead as the larger designs allow for but phones are too small and compact except for the most efficient of components.

      So, unless someone puts LTE into a Bay Trail tablet then you won’t find a Intel based device with completely open drivers yet…

      1. As far as I know, that’s not exactly as you say.

        For example that Intel Atom Z3740 has an Intel GPU
        http://ark.intel.com/es-es/products/76759/Intel-Atom-Processor-Z3740-2M-Cache-up-to-1_86-GHz

        I have been also waiting for Intel to release SoCs without Imagination Technologies GPUs knowing that Imagination Tech is not open source friendly.

        But with the newer Intel SoCs have Intel HD graphics. So as Jason says I am also hoping Intel will release open source docs and drivers so I can use Linux in a power efficient SoC and device.

        1. Nope, don’t confuse the Tablet and higher range offerings with what Intel is releasing for the phone market…

          Merrifield is what they are releasing for specifically the phone market, like Medfield and Clover Trail+ that proceeded it!

          The Z3740 is specifically a Bay Trail T SoC, which means it’s for tablet range devices!

        2. If you’re talking about tablets and notebooks then that’s likely to be possible this year but for smartphones not so much unless an OEM pairs a Bay Trail chip with a separate cellular modem, WiFi and Bluetooth (there might be a single chip solution for this) into a phone. OEMs have done this with ARM SoCs that don’t have cellular capabilities.

        3. Too bad that external wireless chip may have proprietary drivers themselves that could be not compatible with newer Linux kernels.

          Who knows, maybe an OEM will put Bay Trail in a smartphone. They might run it slower if heat is an issue.

        4. Depends if they use all Intel chips or not… but for the phones the LTE will be provided by a Intel chip as that’s the major change for the phone line as they’re finally introducing their own LTE solution now…

          Previous Intel based phones could only provide 3G and thus couldn’t compete in major markets… though, there’s the question of whether that’s enough as companies like Qualcomm have integrated LTE but that doesn’t rule out a non-integrated solution might still be competitive… we’ll see…

          While performance throttling is a issue for all high end SoCs for phones, ARM is pushing thermal limits there as well, which is why they typically have slower clocks than the versions used in tablets… Though, it’s a question which platform will get throttled more but it may still be another generation or two before Intel fully closes the gap… at least in the phone part of the market…

  2. well if nobody does a baytrail tablet that has both windows and android then hopefully this spurs the people of Cyanogen to develop custom roms for windows tablets even if i have to run it off sd card.

  3. Wow , if Intel are going to gain traction into the Android tablet market, they better start getting Android support for tabs out quicker than this. This delay is pushing them back a generation in comparison to the competition and the SOC specs they will be running.

    1. How will they be back a generation?

      First, they already have some low end Android tablets out with the older ATOM SoCs and for the newer SoCs, aside from Apple’s A7 SoC, Intel will still be first to market with full 64bit hardware and access to both 64bit Android and 64bit Windows!

      So the only thing they will still really lag in is graphical performance but they should be fine in the other aspects of performance… and they’re working to close the graphical performance gap with the next update as the upcoming Cherry Trail update will increase the GMA’s number of execution units from 4 to 16!

      Though, they still have a long way to go for competing in the phone market but that may change around 2015-2016, and till then I don’t expect Intel to make much progress aside from the tablet and traditional PC markets… but they should do fine with the tablet market at least for now…

      1. I think you missed the point, it’s not the HW, its the time its taking Intel to get Android on there latest HW. Baytrail Tabs have been out for a while now, to see Android finally being available for a Baytrail tab all this time later ( in the next few months) puts it at risk of now being available close to the next gen SOC’s like the K1 which will be powering Android tablets,

        It wasn’t a comment at all on the HW capability.

        1. When talking about delays then you always consider everything involved and in this case it was both the software and hardware, besides, it always takes awhile to adapt/optimize Android for new hardware…

          The Android market is hardly known for always pushing out updates on time, often devices don’t get updates pushed until some time after Google releases a new version of Android and the high hardware fragmentation of the ARM market is partly why most devices don’t get supported for very long.

          Thing you’re not factoring is that Bay Trail is based on the new Silvermont architecture and is using Intel’s own GMA for the first time in a mobile SoC… Meaning all the drivers and optimizations had to be redone from scratch compared to the previous Intel Medfield and Clover Trail+ Android devices…

          Thus a few months is hardly very late with that in mind, and any future updates will take far less time as they won’t need to do all that again until the next time they make significant hardware changes…

          While as pointed out Intel will be the first to take advantage of 64bit Android, which is software and shows they’re not really late at all…

  4. Intel’s big lead in having upstream support for their hardware due to their relatively large open source and standardization efforts may make it easier for OEMs to choose an x86 platform over an ARM one for their devices.

    At least for tablets, I hope this gets ARM vendors to start standardizing and opening up things. ARM vendors and OEMs hardly do anything the same even within the same company which makes it difficult for Linux kernel and driver developers to support even if open source drivers and public hardware documentation is available.

    I’m personally waiting until Intel can make an SoC for phones that has no or very little proprietary drivers and that are all supported upstream. Unless that magically happens with ARM before then.

  5. esque tengo una tablet android pero no se pueden istalar muchos juegos ah mi hermano es tan feo,tonto,pero sobre todo el me enfada mucho y cuando uso mi tablet android pero quiero que lo vendan en el tienda,tianguis y ya la lleve a la escuela y nomas

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