One of the big announcements coming from this week’s Intel Developer Forum is that the latest generation of Atom processors have begun shipping. These are scheduled to be included in inexpensive tablets from a range of companies.
The newly-released Z3000 series will be part of the “Bay Trail” processors that were unveiled early this year. Intel promises they will have twice the performance of the “Cloverfield” chips that shipped a year ago, while still drawing less power.
Over the past several years, tablets using Cloverfield-based chips and their predecessors were not able to match the combination of performance and long battery life of models that use ARM-based processors. Intel says Bay Trail will change all that.
They are being made with a 22nm process, down from the 32nm one used in the Cloverfield versions.
At its developer program this week in San Francisco, Intel is promising that tablets with the Z3000 series chips will get 8 hours of battery life while playing HD video — something unthinkable for a tablet using a previous-generation Atom processor.
Bay Trail in Windows and Android Hardware
The quad-core Atom Z3700 processors that have starting going to device makers will be incorporated into Microsoft Windows 8.1 tablets with screens between 7 an 10 inches that cost near $350.
Intel designed the dual-core Z3600 specifically for tablets that run Google Android. The company says these could be as little as $100.
More expensive models with larger displays that target business users will employ Intel Core processors, such as the Core i3 ”Haswell” processors that started shipping earlier this week.