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Intel announces Oak Trail Atom, touts 32nm successor

Apr 11, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Intel has formally announced its “Oak Trail” Atom Z670 processor, touting 35 different design wins and a three-Watt TDP, along with a Z650 version for embedded devices. The chipmaker also said its 32nm “Cedar Trail” will be released during the second half of this year, featuring improved graphics and even lower power consumption.

Intel's Z670 "Oak Trail" was first announced last June, when it was touted as an Atom platform "optimized for tablets and sleeker netbook form factors due to its reduction in power consumption and thermals." Using the same "Lincroft" core as the company's earlier "Moorestown" chip — which doesn't run Windows — the Z670 is accompanied by Intel's SM35 Express ("Whitney Point") I/O controller.

Several Oak Trail-based tablets have already been announced running Windows, such as Fujitsu's Stylistic Q550, Motion Computing's CL900 and Samsung's Sliding PC 7. ViewSonic's ViewPad 10Pro, which can run either Windows or Android 2.2, also uses the processor (below). And today, Intel reiterated a claim it first made last December that there are 35 design wins for the Z670 so far.

ViewSonic's Oak Trail-based ViewPad 10Pro boots either Android (left) or Windows 7 (right)
(Click to enlarge)

But, also in December, an official from the PC manufacturer MSI was quoted as saying that the battery life and performance improvements provided by Oak Trail would be "not extremely significant." Vendors of the tablets listed above cited from six to nine hours' battery life, but Intel itself provided no public data.

Now, the chipmaker reveals on its Z670 product page that the new CPU has a three-Watt maximum TDP. In a release, Intel claims "up to all-day battery life," an "enhanced deeper sleep" feature, and available 1080p video playback.

Noting that the 1.5GHz Z670 is "60 percent smaller than previous generations," Intel adds that the 45nm processor is lead- and halogen-free, as is the SM35 I/O controller. The chipset supports high-definition audio and USB 2.0, the company says.

Intel also announced the Z650, an Oak Trail Atom for embedded devices. This comes in the same 13.8 x 13.8mm package size as the Z670, has the same three-Watt TDP, and provides an identical 2GB maximum memory size. However, it's clocked at 1.2GHz instead of 1.5GHz, and it has seven-year lifecycle support on Windows and the Linux-based MeeGo operating systems, the chipmaker says.

Honeycomb on Oak Trail coming soon?

Intel did not mention Android in today's announcement, but Agah Shah of IDG News today reported that an Intel executive informed him that Intel is working with Google to bring Android 3.0 ("Honeycomb") to tablets running on Oak Trail processors. He noted that the two companies have already collaborated well on the Atom- and Android-powered Google TV devices, as well as the Intel-based Cr-48 Chrome OS notebook.

According to Intel, the Z670 is available now, and devices based on it will start shipping next month. Meanwhile, the company said it will use this month's Intel Developer Forum in Beijing to show off a 32nm Atom platform currently code-named "Cedar Trail."

"Cedar Trail" will include Blu-ray 2.0 support, a dedicated media engine "for full 1080p playback," plus additional video options including Intel Wireless Display, DisplayPort, and HDMI. (The Z670 only supports LVDS.) Further improvements in power consumption levels will also be provided, the chipmaker adds.

Intel says it is currently sampling "Cedar Trail" to all major OEMs and ODMs. Devices based on the 32nm Atom will appear in the second half of 2011, the company adds.

Doug Davis, vice president and general manager of the Netbook and Tablet Group at Intel, stated, "The new Intel Atom 'Oak Trail' platform, with 'Cedar Trail' to follow, are examples of our continued commitment to bring amazing personal and mobile experiences to netbook and tablet devices, delivering architectural enhancements for longer battery life and greater performance. We are accelerating the Intel Atom product line to now move faster than Moore's law, bringing new products to market on three process technologies in the next three years."

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