updated 09:05 am EDT, Mon November 1, 2010
Intel Chief River to run 22nm mobile, get USB 3
Intel has given notebook manufacturers the first details of its next notebook platform after Huron River, mainboard developers claimed on Monday. Chief River would support the 22 nanometer processors based on Intel's future Ivy Bridge architecture and would have native USB 3.0 support. Digitimes was told the design would enter mass production in September 2011, although it wouldn't ship until January 2012, likely arriving at CES.
The update may be the first mobile platform from Intel to officially support USB 3.0. Apple has blamed Intel as at least partly responsible for holding up USB 3.0, since its decision not to support the much faster port technology early on has left companies either having to use third-party chipsets or else skip the connectors altogether. Macs have had the option of FireWire 800 to soften the blow, but most Windows PCs without special USB 3.0 support have been left to USB 2.0.
In the nearer term, Intel is expected to mass-produce its Oak Trail ultramobile platform starting from December. The design is key to hopes for both Intel and Microsoft to have real Atom-based competitors to tablets using ARM chips, such as the iPad and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Purported insiders said, however, that Intel might also focus it on the "sleek netbook" category for extremely thin portables rather than just slates.
Shortly after Oak Trail, Intel is expected to ship Cedar Trail in the spring. It should mark one of the first major speed upgrades after dual-core by going to a 32 nanometer process and adding much faster, DirectX 10-capable integrated graphics.