Intel’s next-generation Atom chips for tablets, code-named “Bay Trail-T” are due to hit the streets in 2014, according to leaked documents obtained by Mobile Geeks.

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about upcoming Bay Trail processors, but while Intel is working on next-gen chips for tablets, notebooks, desktops and other applications, these documents look squarely at the tablet chips which will eventually replace today’s Clover Trail processors.

Intel Bay Trail-T

Here are some of the biggest changes:

  • Intel is moving from 32nm to 22nm processors.
  • Bay Trail-T chips will have quad-core CPUs, but no hyperthreading (so 4 cores can handle 4 threads, while today’s dual core Clover Trail chips have 2 cores and support up to 4 threads).
  • Intel is dropping the PowerVR graphics found in today’s Atom chips and instead using Intel HD 4000 graphics, based on the same technology used in Ivy Bridge processors.
  • That brings support for DirectX11 (today’s chips top out at DirectX 9)

According to the leaked documents, devices with Bay Trail-T chips should offer better performance than tablets with Clover Trail processors while consuming less power. That means, all other things being equal, a tablet would get around 11 hours of battery life instead of 9.

Intel says the new chips also support better audio, support for display resolutions as high as 2560 x 1600, and more.

Make no mistake, Atom processors will continue to be low power chips aimed designed to offer acceptable performance and long battery life rather than bleeding-edge performance. If you want a super-speedy tablet in 2014, you’re probably going to want to look for a model with a Haswell or newer chip.

But it’s interesting to see where Intel is going as the company tries to battle the dominance of ARM-based chips in the tablet space.

Also interesting is the fact that the company will be under new leadership as it makes that transition. After 8 years as CEO and more than 40 years with the company, Paul Otellini will be retiring in May, 2013.

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13 replies on “Intel Atom Bay Trail quad-core chips coming in 2014”

  1. 2014? LOL! That will be WAY too late to the party. By the time Intel drops this on the market ARM SoCs will be sporting ARMv8 64 bit cores. Not to mention Cortex A15 based SoCs like the one Samsung is making w/ 4 Cortex A7 and 4 Cortex A15 cores in a big.LITTLE design will smoke this thing on the high end and have WAY better power usage due to the 4 Cortex A7 cores when not doing anything that is tasking.

    1. I get pretty good performance out of my clovertrail. I’m sure they won’t stay idle and produce only one version of that either. As and example they already have a 10 watt ivy bridge in the pipes that will arrive much sooner than Haswell chips.

  2. wrong step, by reducing the hyper threading is very wrong. 8 thread is better not 4.

    1. I’d rather have 4 cores without hyperthreading than 2 cores/4 threads with hyperthreading if I had to chose one and assuming the same clock rate. It’s likely hyperthreading isn’t included (at least with the tablet version so far) due to chip size, power consumption, heat, costs and other restrictions.

      1. Hi BZ, i dont think so, my Tablets Plays thread, it makes faster and light per each core. in that case if you insist to have thread/core, i suggest to have 8 cores. power consumption irrelevant to core or thread, power consumption is part of technology they put on, size and efficiency of component resistant. Because we like efficient and perfomance, multi thread is important. ex: put all task on half cores (thread), is less consumption vs all task on full cores.

  3. The good news is that CloverTrail hybrids won’t be outdated before 2014. This is a good thing for early adopters.
    It also means design/features may improve and prices drop a bit since then.
    The XPS 12, for example, looks gorgeous but… $1000? Really?

  4. 2014 is still over a year away, frankly i do not see how this matters. by then there will/should be some newer faster thinner available.

  5. 9mm thin ???, that’s already the size of whole today phone or tablet (including cpu +board + touch screen + led screen) including more powerfull ARM.

    ARM cortex A15 quand cores already more powerfull than atom and big.LITTLE architectures with more ARM cores will come out in 2013, Intel seems to be really far behind.

    1. a) I’m pretty sure that stat means tablets that are 9mm thin, not that the chips themselves will be that thick.
      b) Intel has at least one key advantage: You can run Windows 8, Windows 7, etc on devices with x86 processors, rather than just Windows RT.

      1. But the BIG.Little concept from ARM will make all licensed companies of ARM IP an opportunity to make SoC that are both extreme power efficient and superfast in very fast mode.

        How will Intel cope with the ARM BIG.Little concept?

        1. Big.LITTLE concept requires increasing the number of processor cores to cover both high performance and low power modes. So a dual core would need two Big and two Little cores and that’s a doubling of cores.

          This may provide a greater range of performance vs power efficiency for ARM but also increases complexity. We’ll have to see how efficiently the SoC’s will auto switch between the Big.LITTLE cores and will have to see whether the increased number of cores will in anyway offset the normal shrinking of the SoC as they go down to 20nm and 14nm.

          Mind also it won’t be until around 2014 at the earliest that we’ll see ARM SoC’s start applying 64bit towards the consumer market instead of just the server market, and that’s assuming no delays to the present schedule.

          The architectural changes being introduced with the Intel ATOM Bay Trail is also fairly significant. Since, the present ATOM cores are still based on the same In Order Processors as when the ATOM was first introduced about 5 years ago.

          While the new cores will be Out Of Order Processors, along with finally taking advantage of 64bit with support for up to 8GB of RAM, and the Intel based GMA may still edge out other mobile alternatives.

          Mind Intel will be applying technology originally developed for their 22nm Ivy Bridge Core i-Series with Tri-Gate transistors, the GMA based on the HD 4000 (just scaled down from 16 execution units to 4), etc.

          Also mind this won’t be the only Bay Trail release, this is just what appears to be the tablet version but that doesn’t mean there won’t be others and there’s also the higher end Haswell to consider with entry offering at 10W max TDP, which ARM won’t have anything equivalent to for quite awhile.

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