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.

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5 replies on “Intel Atom Oak Trail tablets to ship next month”

  1. what a total disappointment, no usb 3.0 mentioned, 1.6 ghz single core (wow its got hyper threading, I think they were focusing on tablets rather than powerful netbooks :/)

    – AMD all the way

  2. Wrong the fusion apu C-50 is a decent dual core with superior graphics built on a 40 nm process so it will blow the single core Oak Trail out of the water. It will use more energy…but there could be a re-fresh of the whole fusion platform sometime for the back to school sales. Turbo boost as well as a tablet specific variant are in the works…

  3. As in Windows, is the third time the charm?

    I’m looking for a lightweight Tablet PC (Core ix based tablets are
    about 4 lbs and up including AC adapter) with active digitizer.

    I will wait for Cedar Trail unless the AMD Fusions deliver that
    combination of decent tablet user experience, lighter weight (just
    under 3 lb would be good, 2.5 lb would be ideal), and long battery
    life (8 hours), and sub $1,000 cost.

    Tempting alternatives would be Cedar Trail slates, or waiting for
    Windows 8 on an ARM slate.

    The higher power (to the Z6xx series Atom CPUs discussed in the article) dual core Oak Trail N550 has not impressed in a convertible netbook
    from MSI.

    The Z6xx series looks analogous to the Z5xx the way the N4xx was
    to the N2xx.

    If I recall correctly, the N4xx provided longer battery life but not much else. The N4xx seemed like a stopgap measure until the dual core N5xx came along.

    1. There’s the T580. 10″, around $1000, core i3, 3 lbs. Though battery life is rather short at 4-5 hours.

      Quite frankly I don’t expect cedar trail or AMD fusion to be on par (CPU-wise) with core ix or even CULV any time soon. If N5xx don’t impress, the next best thing would be CULV or core ix in tablets.

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