Intel is finally getting its roadmap in place to address the Tablet and Smartphone markets, where it has not really established itself. With Tablets heavily eating into the laptop category, it is time that Intel marshalls its considerable resources to address new markets. Its first system-on-a-chip for tablets and smartphones–codenamed Medfield–will be a crucial component of that strategy, though chips that follow may be more important commercially. Medfield will arrive in the first half of 2012, followed by Clover Trail technology in the second half of 2012
Medfield marks Intel’s move to a 32-nanometer system-on-a-chip Atom processor for tablets and smartphones. At long last leaving 45-nanometer Atom processors behind. Generally, the smaller the chip geometry, the faster and/or more power efficient the chip is. Medfield is likely a single-core processor and the system-on-a-chip Clover Trail variety a dual-core chip
Clover Trail chip would be a good match for Windows 8 tablets and convertibles and should be in time for the new Microsoft operating system is expected to be released to consumers sometime in the second half of 2012.
• Medfield: first half 2012, single core, 32-nanometer
• Clover Trail: second half 2012, dual-core, 32-nanometer
• Silvermont: 2013, new Atom architecture, 22-nanometer
• Airmont: 2014, 14-nanometer
The only thing here is that while Intel dicusses deal core, many of its competitors like Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments are already discussing quad-core chips based on the ARM design. Nvidia for sure is bringing forth Quad core chips for tablets and high-end “super phones” by end of this year. Qualcomm and Texas Instruments are shipping dual-core ARM-based designs into products now with plans for quad-core later in 2012. And Apple’s next-generation A6 is rumored to be quad-core too. All this actually puts Intel at least one generation behind its competitors.