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Intel announces Atom processor for smartphones

Intel Corporation's announcements at CES highlight the chip makers increasing focus on the smartphones and tablets along with its brainchild, the Ultrabook.

Gadgetand Gizmos | January 8, 2013 | Updated 14:03 IST

Intel Corporation's announcements at CES highlight the chip makers increasing focus on the smartphones and tablets along with its brainchild, the Ultrabook.

At a press conference in Las Vegas, Kirk Skaugen, vice-president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, said they were 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."

Intel has, in fact, unveiled a new low-power Atom processor-based platform (earlier called "Lexington") and smartphone reference design targeted at the budget smartphone segment, which is expected to grow to 500 million units by 2015. Acer, Lava International and Safaricom have already expressed interest in the project.

Also, ushering in an era of more powerful tablet computers, the company unveiled details about its next-generation 22nm Atom SoC, codenamed Bay Trail, scheduled to be available by end of 2013. The first quad-core Atom SoC will be the most powerful Atom processor to date, 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.

Intel also highlighted that its forthcoming 4th generation Intel Core processor family targeted at about 10 watt design power enabling true all-day battery life, while still delivering the excellent performance people want and need. This will make Ultrabooks and other laptops more power efficient. Skaugen also announced that the company is bringing the low-power line of processors into its existing 3rd generation Intel Core processor family as. 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. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S Ultrabook and a future Ultrabook detachable from Acer will be among the first to market this spring based on the new Intel processors, said a release.

"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." To demonstrate the impact of the 4th generation Intel Core processor family, Skaugen showed a new form factor Ultrabook detachable reference design (codenamed "North Cape") that converts into a 10mm tablet and can run on battery for up to 13 hours while docked.

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