Intel Atom logoIntel 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.

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2 replies on “Intel Atom Clover Trail chips for tablets due in second half of 2012”

  1. Unless they support PCI i think they’ll run into the same limitation that oakyrail did, ISA or no. Maybe they’ve removed that limitation in win8 but it hasnt been covered in any of thematerial MS has released so far.

    1. Windows 8 is suppose to come out with different versions to support devices from Smart Phones to more traditional PC systems.

      However, Oak Trail did have PCI support via it’s PCH.  Basically Oak Trail isn’t a full SoC and much of the South Bridge functionality is covered by the PCH.

      Though the problem did exist for Moorestown, which sometimes gets confused with Oak Trail because the model numbers for both are covered under the Z6xx series. 

      Mind that Moorestown and it’s replacement, Medfield, are intended for devices presently covered by ARM based systems, such as Smart Phones, and not traditional PC systems running Windows.

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