Intel originally said that it would have the next-gen Atom chip in tablets by year’s end, so the company is roughly on track with that timetable. Those tablets will ship during the first half of 2015, and should be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.
Intel’s Bay Trail chips are largely found in Windows 8.1 tablets such as Dell’s Venue 11 Pro and Asustek’s Transformer Book T100—which, incidentally, already received good reviews. (Cherry Trail can power Android tablets, too.) Pushing the chips to the 14nm process should only increase in performance and battery life. How much? For now, Intel isn’t saying.
Intel said that it will pair the new chips with its XMM 726x modem, providing LTE-Advanced capabilities as well. Intel has struggled to integrate its modems into the Atom processor, leaving it an also-ran in the smartphone market, where integration is prized. In tablets, however, there are far less restrictive space constraints.
Intel plans to talk more about so-called “context aware” technologies that will try to intelligently collate information culled from multiple sensors to improve computing experiences; other improvements include trying to use biometric information to replace passwords, as Apple’s latest iPhones do.
Why this matters: Intel’s efforts to provide holistic improvements to computing experiences are admirable, but the bottom line is that Cherry Trail is going to deliver faster tablets with improved battery life. And that’s what we all want, isn’t it?
CPUs and Processors
As PCWorld's senior editor, Mark focuses on Microsoft news and chip technology, among other beats. He has formerly written for PCMag, BYTE, Slashdot, eWEEK, and ReadWrite.