back to article Intel's Windows 8 tablet Atom chip yields up its secrets

Intel has begun to reveal what's inside the next generation of tablet- and smartphone-specific Atom processors, codenamed respectively Clover Trail and Clover Trail Plus. Clover Trail, which the chip giant has been dropping hints about since mid-2011, has been designed "from the ground up" for Windows 8 but builds on the current …

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Anonymous Coward

Incredible that that lot fits into 14mm². Looking forward to a non locked-down thinner and lighter netbook replacement. Just hope that decent Linux support for the graphic hardware is forthcoming.

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Trollface

When that comes..

I'll be sure to ask the Easter bunny to pass my request onto Santa.

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FAIL

It's not 14mm^2 but 196mm^2.

14mm on each side is not the same as 14mm^2.

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FAIL

Re: It's not 14mm^2 but 196mm^2.

Umm no, that's it exactly what it is. It's 14mm^2 (14 millimetres *squared*), which is not the same as 14 square millimetres.

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Megaphone

I'd have to be bribed quite a bit to buy a computer with an Atom processor inside.

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Silver badge

> I'd have to be bribed quite a bit to buy a computer with an Atom processor inside.

It does seem like a rather "special" application. They cost about 3/4 of an old core2 but do so much less and are likely to be on a hobbled motherboard.

Why would you stick a brand new, bloated OS on a low-power cpu? Are consumers going to be able to get a cheap server version of W8 with the desktop removed from the kernel?

Product positioning gone bad, I think.

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HMB

If it runs Windows 8 smoothly...

So long as it runs smoothly, then what's the big difference between this and the ARM chip? With ARM it's all hardware video encode / decode. There really such a gap?

And you get to run x86 windows software on a tablet.

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Silver badge
Headmaster

Re:"Why would you stick a brand new, bloated OS on a low-power cpu? "

The tablet version of Clover trail can (although dual core) can under certain tasks "emulate" a quad core cpu. It is in fact rather more powerful than previous atoms (although I admit that would not be hard) and significantly less battery demanding. Other criticisms of Win8 to one side, bloated it certainly is not. It is in fact respectably more power efficient and noticeably nippier than Win7. You have of course tried it on a tablet yourself that was previously running Win7 so you could make a direct comparison, just like I have?

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Anonymous Coward

I could think of some applications for this...

...other than tablets and phones. Right now I have a dinky Atom as an always on home machine. This could be nice - assuming the performance is really there - as a low power dual purpse HTPC and always on server.

Of course, pricing and consequently value for Atoms has never really been too attractive (most Atom boards on New Egg are more expensive than the Atom machines I purchased on sale - not to mention AMD's low power boards at less than 2/3 the Intel cost) so it would need to be a pretty significant increase in performance and comparable prices to today to make sense for me.

It would be nice, for example, to be able to run HD Netflix (Silverlight's GPU acceleration sucks) on a low power board. If this new Atom can actually handle that remains to be seen.

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JDX
Gold badge

Why would you stick a brand new, bloated OS on a low-power cpu?

Where do you get Bloated from? W8 is by all accounts nippier than W7 which was nippier than Vista.

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Silver badge

The last leaked road map I saw..............

................implied middle of 2013 some time.

"At some point in the future - Intel's not saying precisely when - a new architecture produced at 22nm will be introduced to supersede it. The new tablet-centric version is codenamed Bay Trail. ®"

If they are not talking about a die shrink of Clover trail first followed by a architecture change with Bay trail, it implies a new architecture combined with a die shrink in one hit. If the leaks are within hailing distance of reality that combination of tick and tock will deliver a hell of a jump in both processing and graphics as well as a very big improvement in power efficiency.

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