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CES: Intel sets course on a new mobile experience


After a successful CES keynote by rival Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs, Intel Corp. was under pressure to step up with something different targeted at the mobile marketplace.

What Intel presented at CES was a plan to not just accelerate new mobile devices to market but to also redefine the mobile computing experience.

The announcement was highlighted by the release of Intel’s latest Atom processor-based platform aimed at the value segment of smartphone market with support from vendor partners Acer and newcomer Lava International.

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Intel also showed the first 22nm quad-core Atom SoC for tablets, which is expected to more than double the computing performance of the Atom Processor Z2760 platform. This will be available late in 2013.

Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, also updated the media on the upcoming Clover Trail+ platform, which is aimed at performance and mainstream markets as well as a low powered Core processor lineup that reaches as low as seven watts. Skaugen said that this technology will enable thinner, lighter, touch-based ultrabooks and detachable tablets.

Also the 4th generation of Core processor line (formerly code-named Haswell) will enable a new range of ultrabook convertibles, detachables and tablets with all-day battery life; the biggest battery life gain over a previous generation in company’s history was also revealed.

“The best of Intel is coming to a mobile device near you,” said Skaugen. “We are 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.”

Mike Bell (pictured), vice president and general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group, said the new low-power Atom platform enables Intel to address new market segments which will be a welcomed choice by first-time buyers in emerging markets, as well as with customers who can deploy more cost-conscious devices without sacrificing device performance or user experience.

The new value offering includes the Atom processor Z2420 with hyper-threading that can achieve speeds of 1.2 GHz, 1080p hardware-accelerated encode/decode, and support for up to two cameras delivering advanced imaging capabilities, including burst mode that allows people to capture seven pictures in less than a second in 5-megapixel quality, the company added.

The platform also includes the XMM 6265 HSPA+ modem that offers dual sim/dual standby capability.

Bell added that the Atom Z2580 processor platform (formerly “Clover Trail+”) includes a dual core Atom processor with hyper-threading and a dual-core graphics engine. He said the new platform will deliver up to two times the performance benefits over Intel’s current-generation solution (Intel Atom processor Z2460 platform), while also offering competitive power and battery life.

As for the product roadmap, Bell said the wide range of tablet designs based on the Atom Processor Z2760 running Windows 8 are now on shelves and online from OEM partners such as Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG and Samsung.

He added that more tablet designs are scheduled. Bell also provided details about the company’s next-generation 22nm Atom SoC, code-named “Bay Trail” which is scheduled to be shipping for late 2013. Intel is trying to make the first quad-core Atom SoC 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 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, Bell said.

“With Bay Trail we will build on the work done with our current SoC development and accelerate very quickly by leveraging Intel’s core computing strengths,” Bell said. “We will take advantage of the tremendous software assets and expertise at our disposal to deliver the best products with best-in-class user experiences.”

Besides updating the market on the company’s processor roadmap, Intel also announced it was is collaborating with Comcast to bring the XFINITY TV experience on IP set-top boxes, ultrabooks, and all-in-one PCs running Intel chips.

Intel will also make it work with tablets and smartphones as well as smart TVs. This experience is made possible by the Intel Puma 6MG-based XG5 multi-screen video gateway, the company said at CES.

Alan Crouch, Intel vice president and general manager, PCCG Service Provider Division, said that by working with Comcast it enabled Intel to bring new entertainment experiences to tablets, phones, all-in-one PCs and ultrabooks. Intel-based multi-screen video gateways in the home from innovative OEMs like ARRIS allow people to watch both live TV and on-demand shows whenever they want on their new Intel-based devices.

The XG5multi-screen video gateway allows any screen to access live and on-demand entertainment. This new category of device provides video, voice and high-speed Internet via MoCA, DECT and Wi-Fi from one device creating a network for numerous devices and second screens. Multi-screen video gateways are emerging devices that centrally manage pay TV, broadband access to voice as well as new services such as security and location management.

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