updated 11:09 am EST, Tue January 8, 2013
Mobile, low-power processors focus of Intel event
Intel has demonstrated its fourth generation of Core processors at the company's CES press event. The demonstration also gave the chip maker a chance to demonstrate a new quad-core 22nm Atom System-on-Chip processor it calls "Bay Trail," as well as low-powered versions of existing architectures and processors aimed towards developing nations.
The fourth-generation chips, codenamed "Haswell" and formally announced in September, uses the same 22nm process that the third generation Ivy Bridge chips to create the processors. The Haswell chips will operate using as little as 10-watts of power, and was demonstrated on-stage in the form of an Ultrabook with a 13-hour battery life and a new detachable-keyboard reference design codenamed "North Cape." Intel will be promoting touch-enabled Ultrabooks with its processors in the future, with devices starting from $600 for standard Ultrabooks and $800 for tablets that can convert into a tablet by removing the keyboard.
A new, lower-power version of Ivy Bridge will also be put onto the market, which will allow the existing 3rd generation of Intel Core processor to operate using as low as 7 watts of power. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoha 11S Ultrabook and an unannounced Ultrabook detachable from Acer will be the first to get this low-powered processor, and should be on the market by the spring.
Mobile computing seemed to be a major focus for Intel, leading the company to detail its Bay Trail Atom Micro architecture that it will push out by the end of 2013. The quad-core 22nm SoC will apparently be Intel's most powerful Atom processor to date, and will offer double the computing performance of current tablet processors, and a higher level of on-chip security.
Another Atom-based platform called "Lexington" is also being created, aimed at the low-power smartphone and tablet market. It is said to be able to reach a speed of 1.2GHz and will be able to perform hardware-accelerated encoding and decoding of 1080p video. Support for two cameras is underlined by it's burst mode that will capture seven 5-megapixel images in less than a second. The inclusion of an Intel HSPA+ modem with dual-sim and dual-standby capability is hoped to be attractive to phone manufacturers, especially those interested in producing low-cost devices.