Powerful and low voltage processors have become the standard for high-end mobile devices, and one of the most popular and most common ones is the Tegra 2. But soon that may be changing. At the Intel Developer Form this week in Beijing, the desktop chip giant announced a new processor and their Oak Trail platform.
The platform includes a single-core Atom Z-series chip clocked at 1.5GHz (Z670) that will be used in conjunction with the SM35 Express Chipset. Although some users may be disappointed by the fact that the processor only has one core, it is hyperthreaded, which makes it a "1.5 core" chip. The setup will be able to play 1080p video via HDMI out, will support Adobe Flash, and does not require fans like the previous Atom series.
Although the device is x86 and not ARM-based, it will support both Android and MeeGo. The x86 architecture has the added benefit of also supporting full blown Windows. This makes it a potential platform for any Windows 7 tablets that may emerge.
The Tegra 2 was announced at the beginning of 2010, but because Nvidia did not have any hardware lined up, it is still just now being adopted. Intel is not making the same mistake. It has already announced a few devices that will ship with the new Z-series, including the Asus Eee Pad Slider and the Samsung Gloria, which are both hybrid tablet/netbooks.
Thanks to their lineup of devices, Intel may get a quick start with their platform, but they will still face stiff competition. Mobile computing generally uses the ARM architecture, and Intel has a fight ahead of them if they are going to change that.