Tag Archive | "intel"

Do You See the PC Opportunity in the Growing Tablet Space?

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Toshoba Portege Z10T _3_I read a few IDC new releases today. The PC outlook is bad. The Tablet outlook is good.

Take another look though, ignore some of the news articles riding on the back of the headline PR and you’ll see something interesting. Firstly there’s no obvious consideration of PC evolution into the tablet market. Secondly, there’s a huge opportunity opening up in the 8-13” segment. As tablet users start to prefer those smaller, cheaper tablet devices, more value and capability is needed in the larger screen segment.

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Watching CES 2013 for CloverTrail and Bay Trail News

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CES 2013 has kicked off and this year I’m in the studio reporting across the handheld and Ultrabook PC space. For UMPCPortal that means ‘Clovertrail’ and ‘Bay Trail’, the latter being important as it’s the first time the Atom platform will get a new architecture.

Clovertrail has brought the handheld PC space alive again and we’ve reported a number of times on Clovertrail-based products over the last three months. As the only PC platform that’s Connected Standby capable it’s a huge step forward and although the current designs use at least 10-inch displays there’s potential here for 8.9-inch and even 7-inch display Clovertrail devices.

During CES we’ll be looking for information on the Lenovo IdeaTab Lynx, Fujitsu Arrows QH55J, Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet2, Dell Latitude 10 and the HP Envy 2. Naturally we’re looking out for new devices based on Clovertrail too. We’ll bring you the news as we find it.

Moving on to Bay Trail then, it’s the next generation, 22nm-based Atom architecture and it’s a big change. Leaked roadmaps mention a 2014 availability (1st Quarter) so don’t get too excited just yet but some of  the details are very interesting.  You’ll see a higher TDP but don’t worry because there’s a lot more on-board here including a variant of Intel’s graphics unit. A move away from PowerVR means better control over drivers and hope for Linux fans!

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The SoC is known as Valleyview-T (where Clovertrail used a Cloverview SoC) and it will offer up to 4 cores. Display support will be improved above 1920×1080 and the graphics could be much more powerful. We expect huge improvements in media encoding and decoding efficiency and speed. Storage will still be eMMC based but USB3.0 support will be added.

With Intel’s Haswell platform reaching down into 8W TDP space and Bay Trail reaching up where Pentiums and Celeron processors were operating a few years ago there’s little space left for these brands. Haswell will also offer Connected Standby features so there’s a possibility that there will be a crossover of platforms in the 10-12.5-inch space with ‘Pro’ tablets offering true desktop capability and the consumer tablets focusing on style, weight, value and mobility.

Intel’s press conference is happening later today so I’ll be analyzing it for answers to the above questions.

Bay Trail information via MobileGeeks.

Deutsche Bank to Investors: Intel CloverTrail Tablets can Compete

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IdeaTab-Lynx-2Early reviews of CloverTrail devices are positive and that’s making investors and analysts sit up and take note. Deutsche Bank have just issued a note to their customers saying some very positive things about the platform and notes that it is competitive against ARM-based solutions.


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Intel Could Succeed in the Android Market with HDRC

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Back at IDF September, Intel and Google finally announced that they’d be working together to get Android up and running on x86 devices. While there were a number of Android-running x86 tablets and a smartphone prototype or two floating around IDF, it wasn’t immediately apparent what the major advantage of Android 0n x86 devices would be for your everyday consumer. In fact, it wasn’t even apparent exactly why any of the existing Android manufactures would  want to create x86 Android devices, given that up until now, pretty much all of their R&D has been focused on ARM devices. However, Intel may actually be perfectly positioned to be able to stimulate the growth of an upcoming segment of Android device — one which truly converges mobile and desktop functionality into one device. Chippy has coined such hybrid functionality: ‘High Dynamic Range Computing’ (HDRC), and the time might just be right for Intel to ignite this segment and find their own place in the Android market.

Before moving on, you might want to visit this link to see Chippy’s look at HDRC from last year.

Any consumer-available Android device that you can get your hands on today uses ARM architecture which is fundamentally incompatible with the x86 architecture that Intel products are based on. Android was originally built to run exclusively on ARM (though being open-source, some community projects were able to do some porting to x86). It wasn’t until several years after Android was on the scene that Intel and Google finally got together to work on full hardware-level Android on x86 support. That work is still ongoing. We’ve had our hands on Android devices running with Intel’s x86 architecture, but it is clear that there is still much optimization to be done. Once everything is complete though, won’t a device running Android on ARM be, for the user, indistinguishable from a device running Android on Intel’s x86?

If ARM has battery life, Intel has power. It’s an interesting dichotomy — we’ve watched as ARM-based devices have continuously scaled up to meet performance demands as the Android device market has grown. Intel has the opposite problem; they’ve got power, but have been constantly trying to scale it down to work with mobile at the tablet/smartphone level. Intel’s Atom series is a notable effort in the last several years to scale things back far enough that users could get reasonable performance and reasonable battery life out of a netbook. Once Intel can achieve the same thing at the smartphone and tablet level (and they’ve been working on this for years), they’ve got the expertise to push the processing end of things far beyond what we currently see from ARM — not to mention that the same x86 architecture that will be found in Intel-based phones and tablets is capable of booting full-fledged desktop operating systems.

If Intel plays their cards right, they could do very well in the Android market by stimulating the HDRC segment. HDRC isn’t really a mainstream thing at this point — most people have their desktop computer and they’ve got a smartphone and maybe a tablet. They view these two devices as fundamentally different. The promise of HDRC is creating a device that scales so well that it can converge these two categories of devices, which are viewed as different, into a single unit. This is a serious challenge because essentially it asks for a single device that is instant-on and has phone-like (all day) battery life, but, when plugged in, can be as powerful as one would expect from a laptop or desktop. Intel has the expertise for the high-end of the HDRC spectrum, we see this daily from the desktop computers that we work on. If they can combine this with phone/tablet-like low-power functionality, they could blow ARM out of the water and define the HDRC space that mobile technology has been steadily moving toward for the last 5 years.

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Intel Atom Z2580 Launched – Dual Core for High-End Smartphones and Tablets

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At a Intel press event, still going on as I write, Intel has just announced that Z2580 that we tipped earlier today. It’s a dual-core version of the current Intel smartphone platform which is capable of running Android x86 and other x86 software.

…the  Atomâ„¢ Z2580 processor that doubles the performance of the Atom processor Z2460, and features an advanced multimode LTE/3G/2G solution. Intel will sample the Z2580 in the second half of the year with customer products scheduled in the first half of 2013.

In addition to the Z2500 series, there’s now a new Z2000 series at 1Ghz aimed at a lower-cost segment.

Addressing the growing handset opportunity in emerging markets where consumers look for more value at lower prices, Intel disclosed plans for the Intel® Atom™ processor Z2000.

The Z2000 is aimed squarely at the value smartphone market segment, which industry sources predict could reach up to 500 million units by 20151. The platform includes a 1.0 GHz Atom CPU offering great graphics and video performance, and the ability to access the Web and play Google Android* games. It also supports the Intel® XMM 6265 3G HSPA+ modem with Dual-SIM 2G/3G, offering flexibility on data/voice calling plans to save on costs. Intel will sample the Z2000 in mid-2012 with customer products scheduled by early 2013.

Also announced was news that Medfield will now be enabled to 2Ghz.

“Extending the leading performance and energy efficiency of the Intel™ Atom® processor Z2460, formerly codenamed “Medfield,” Intel announced that the platform will now support speeds up to 2GHz.”

More details if we get them in the press conference that continues…..

Intel Dual-Core Clover Trail for Phones, Tablets (And Win 8) Due Today

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Very quickly before we go to the next meeting I want to relay some reliable information I’ve had this morning about Intel’s next generation phone and tablet platform.

Clover Trail (and CloverTrail +) is likely to be launched today.

The platform is Dual Core (that’s likely to be 2×1.6Ghz for Win 8 and Android Tablets) and there will be a version for smartphones.

Z2580 is the name of the platform.

More later today.

Intel Smartphone Hands-On. Video, Perf Test

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The Intel Smartphone is here at CES and we’ve just had hands-on. It’s running a Medfield-based platform (Intel Atom Z2460 – 1.6Ghz with Hyperthreading) with Android 2.x

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The design is a certified reference design connected to the AT&T network here and the Android build includes all the Google goodness too. We tested a few apps and responsiveness was good. The phone comes with micro-USB and micro-HDMI ports and the video is hardware accelerated. The 4” 1024×600 screen doesn’t make the design at all bulky.

As for performance, we’re getting the idea that this could be a scorcher. A Sunspider test here resulted in 1290ms – and remember that’s with Android 2.x. We saw some video and game demos too and they were all smooth. Scroll down for a video hands-on with the Intel Smartphone.

 

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Hands On Video

ASUS UX21 Ultrabook – Full Review Available at Ultrabooknews

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I’ve posted a detailed review of the ASUS UX21 over at Ultrabooknews and even if you think the device is too big, I encourage you to read the article to learn about the platform and it’s differences to Oaktrail, Cedar Trail and other low-power platforms. The UX21 idles down well and gets things done so fast that the total battery used for tasks is, in many cases, less than on a low-power platform. The effect is known as ‘HUGI’ by Intel – Hurry Up Get Idle – and it seems to work.

The platform provides a high dynamic range of operating modes from simple web-based work in a netbook-like 8W power to gaming and video editing to a quality that you would never achieve on an Atom-based platform.

It’s interesting to think of where this could lead to. Will Atom-based devices just dissolve into a low-cost category? Will there be an interesting option for ‘Ultraslates’ in the future? Could Intel create an even more efficient, smaller and small platform based on their leading technologies. My feeling is ‘Yes’ and I talked about it in an article earlier this year.

I suggest reading the UX21 article though for more details and proof that there are some Ultra Mobile possibilities with the high-end mobile computing platforms.

ASUS UX21 Full Review

Cedar Trail Netbook Delays. Are You Waiting?

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Despite all the fuss about Ultrabooks and Tablets there’s still a significant market for netbooks out there as small, low-cost ‘just enough’ laptops. Developing countries, students, secondary laptops, travel laptops or simply the lowest cost laptop possible, the Netbooks are a valid choice. With the next generation, using Cedar Trail as the CPU cplatform, it gets even better with significant improvements to 3D graphics that should smooth-out quite a few Windows 7 and application experiences. There are improvements in efficiency too that could enable some lighter 10″ tablet formats and thinner netbook designs. Expect Ultrabook-style devices too with SSD’s, sealed designs and of-course, a much lower price than the current Ultrabooks.

But Cedar Trail is delayed. . .again, apparently because the graphics driver certification hasn’t been completed. In the meantime AMD  Fusion netbooks push further into the market.

With Oaktrail-based devices not quite hitting the mark where consumer experience is concerned, [where are those 1.8Hz Oaktrail options?] it’s important that Cedar Trail reaches the market as soon as possible.

Anyone waiting to buy a new Netbook? Would you like to see more Netbook coverage here? We will be at CES in Jan so we’ll get some details of new models, performance and availability then. In the meantime, check the related links below for some more Cedar Trail background.

http://vr-zone.com/articles/intel-s-cedar-trail-mobile-atom-pushed-back-again/14051.html

Posted from the Galaxy Tab at Droidcon NL.

Intel Medfield tablet running Honeycomb spotted at IDF

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No details.  No name.

Intel just showed us a tablet running Honeycomb at the main keynote of the Intel Developer Forum this morning.

All they said was that it was running on Medfield. Looks like Android is becoming the focus for Intel tablets.

We’re in the keynote now and will try and bring you more soon.

Google Intel Announce Android Partnership for Phones and Tablets at IDF2011

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We weren’t expecting Andy Rubin on stage at IDF but there he was with a new Honeycomb phone. Its a reference design only ar this point.
Full details in the video below.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSJPWjzEbJo

Screen Size Analysis (Sub 12″) August 2011

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This is the seventh report on sizing trends in PCs below 12” screen size (and above 5”) appearing in the German market through the popular price comparison engine, Geizhals.at (*1) The last one was done in Feb 2011. Once again we’ve seen a big jump in overall numbers. The 7″ segment and 10″ segment have grown while the 11″ segment has shrunk. The 10″ market dominates more in this report than it did in the report of Feb 2011 although there is a clear trend occurring in the 7″ space where growth in products has occurred in all of the last 4 reports.

Number of SKUs in the market

The number of choices in the mobile screen space (above smartphones) has grown over 2x from approx 240 SKUs to over 630 SKUs.

 

Screen size distribution

The big jump in numbers is clear to see from the top graph. Total numbers jumped by 115 with most of that growth coming from the tablet form factor and the 10″ netbook/notebook sector. Big increases in the 7″ tablet sector (now the biggest number so far) and a reduction in the numbers of 11″ devices mean that  percentage distribution has changed a lot. The iPad2 introduction caused the growth in the 9″ segment.

In the 10″ netbook space which accounts for 75% of the 10″ category there are now 18 AMD C-Series SKUs and 315 Atom SKUs. 64 of the Atom-based devices (20%) use the high-end N570 version.

In interesting statistic is that 1 in 5 devices on the market in the 5-11″ segment are from ASUS.

Across all categories, ARM-based CPU designs account for  23% of all devices, almost exclusively in the tablet sector. It will be interesting to see how that changes over the next 2 years with the introduction of Windows for the ARM processor.

In terms of weight, the tablets mean that the average weight of a device has gone down.  28% of the devices weigh under 1KG.

Meego appears for the first time along with the cheapest and lightest netbook ever launched. The ASUS Eee PC X101.

Chromebooks did not enter the sub 12″ screen space yet. (Acer 700 not available in Germany)

Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation Intel Core CPUs) enters the sector with 14 SKUs from 5 devices.

Total number of tablet form-factor devices:  193 (30% of total)

Cheapest devices:

  • X86/Windows Laptop – Eee PCR101D at 199 Euros. (Was: Samsung N145 at 228 Euro)
  • Non-Windows Laptop (X86-CPU) –  Eee PC X101 (Meego) at 169 Euros
  • ARM Tablet – Debitel One Pad  (Android 1.5) at 59 Euro
  • X86/Windows Tablet – Archos 9 at 370 Euros (was 402 Euros)

In terms of netbook trends, the search and news volumes seem to be steady after their large drop in Q1 (see Google Trends.) Numbers of devices in the market have increased and obviously the introduction of Cedar Trail in Q4 will create news, products and searches in the netbook category. The trend for netbook products, news and search is going to be level-to-rising for Q4 That may, or may not, relate to sales numbers.

In terms of handheld PCs, our focus here at UMPCPortal, it’s a sad story. The online market is now almost totally clear of 5-9″ X86-based Windows devices. It will be interesting to see how the Windows 8 market affects this in 2012.

Warning: Please remember that this is a single data-source analysis of what is happenning today, in the German market. This is not a complete market analysis report. You may use the data and images but please also reference this article which includes this warning.

*1 Based on SKUs, not model families. Data taken from Geizhals  An English language (and UK market) version of Geizhals is available at Skinflint.



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