CES: Intel attempts to ‘redefine’ mobile computing
By Digital News Asia January 14, 2013
- Unveils new low-power Atom processor-based platform and smartphone reference design, targeted at ‘value’ segment
- Demonstrates new adaptive AIO systems that it claims will help bring ‘game night’ back to its roots of shared experiences
INTEL Corp executives held a press conference at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to outline a plan to accelerate new mobile device experiences across the company’s growing portfolio of smartphone, tablet and Ultrabook offerings.
The announcements included a new smartphone platform for emerging markets, details on a forthcoming 22nm quad-core SoC for tablets, and more personal and intuitive Ultrabook devices in convertible designs.
“The best of Intel is coming to a mobile device near you,” said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel.
“We are set to deliver the biggest increase in battery efficiency in Intel’s history with 4th generation Intel Core processors, while adding broad new human interfaces to computing devices through touch, voice, facial recognition, and gesture-based interactions.
“We’re also significantly extending the performance and power savings in Atom processors as we accelerate our mobile offerings in an unprecedented fashion in 2013,” he added.
Intel Inside smartphones
Building on the progress first detailed a year ago at CES, Intel unveiled a new low-power Atom processor-based platform (formerly ‘Lexington’) and smartphone reference design, targeted at the value smartphone market segment, which industry sources predict could reach 500 million units by 2015.
Customers announcing support for the platform include Acer, Lava International and Safaricom.
“The addition of the low-power Atom platform enables Intel to address new market segments and further rounds out our expanding portfolio of smartphone offerings,” said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group.
The new value offering includes many high-end features such as the Intel Atom processor Z2420 with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology that can achieve speeds of 1.2 GHz, 1080p hardware-accelerated encode/decode, and support for up to two cameras delivering advanced imaging capabilities, including burst mode that allows people to capture seven pictures in less than a second in 5-megapixel quality.
Bell also highlighted the forthcoming Intel Atom Z2580 processor platform (formerly ‘Clover Trail+’) targeted at performance and mainstream smartphones. The platform includes a dual core Atom processor with Intel Hyper-Threading Technology, and also features a dual-core graphics engine.
Bell said that enabling a mobile, connected and full Windows 8 experience, the Atom platform boasts all-day battery life and is more power-efficient than competitive offerings.
He also unveiled details about the company’s next-generation 22nm Atom SoC, codenamed ‘Bay Trail,’ which is already booting and scheduled to be available for holiday 2013. The first quad-core Atom SoC (system-on-a-chip) will be the most powerful Atom processor to date, he claimed, delivering more than two times the computing performance of Intel’s current generation tablet offering.
It will also include new improved integrated security offerings. These improvements will enable new experiences for business and personal use in devices as thin as 8mm that have all-day battery life and weeks of standby, all at lower prices.
“With Bay Trail we will build on the work done with our current SoC development and accelerate very quickly by leveraging Intel’s core computing strengths,” Bell said.
Low power fuels Ultrabooks
Ultrabook devices provide new, richer mobile computing experiences in thin, elegant and increasingly convertible and detachable designs, Intel said.
To enable these innovative designs, the company announced last September that it added a new line of processors to its forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family targeted at about 10 watt design power, while still delivering the excellent performance people want and need.
At CES, Skaugen announced that the company is bringing the low-power line of processors into its existing 3rd generation Intel Core processor family. Available now, these chips will operate as low as 7 watts, allowing manufacturers greater flexibility in thinner, lighter convertible designs.
Currently there are more than a dozen designs in development based on this new low-power offering and they are expected to enable a full PC experience in innovative mobile form factors including tablets and Ultrabook convertibles, he added.
The 4th generation Intel Core processor family enables true all-day battery life, representing the most significant battery life capability improvement in Intel history, Skaugen claimed.
“The 4th generation Core processors are the first Intel chips built from the ground up with the Ultrabook in mind,” Skaugen said. “We expect the tremendous advancements in lower-power Core processors, and the significant ramp of touch-based systems will lead to a significant new wave of convertible Ultrabooks and tablets that are thinner, lighter and, at the same time, have the performance required for more human-like interaction such as touch, voice and gesture controls.”
Skaugen also demonstrated new adaptive AIO (all-in-one) systems that have a battery built into the screen and can be picked up and easily moved around the home or office as needed.
Adaptive AIOs are high-performance computers with large touch-enabled screens that can be used as a multi-user touch gaming system, or as an interactive art creation device, as well as for many other shared, in-person experiences.
These devices will help bring “game night” back to its roots through shared experiences where families and friends gather around the system to interact, play and have fun, Intel claimed.