Intel is planning to integrate wireless baseband technology into the Atom, making it a powerful smartphone/tablet SoC.
The iPad, like it or not, has executed better than any other tablet offered to the market. Intel CEO Paul Otellini heaped praised on the Apple tablet early on during the investor call following announcement of the chipmaker's positive financial results.
"I know that the big question on everyone’s mind is how Intel will respond to new computing categories where Intel currently has little presence, specifically tablets," said Otellini. "Let me take a minute and give you my perspective on this. We think tablets are exciting and we fully welcome their arrival. Apple has done a wonderful job reinventing the category. We believe that like netbooks, tablets will expand the term for computing overall with a new form factor and new uses that bring computing to even more aspects of our lives.
"Will they impact PC sales? Sure. At the margin, they probably will. Consumers will have a limited amount of discretionary income and some will choose to purchase a tablet instead of upgrading at existing PC or purchasing a netbook in any given period."
So the CEO of Intel realizes that Apple's winning the market when it comes to tablets, but Intel is ready to fight hard.
"At Intel, we are going to utilize all of the assets that are disposal to win this segment; the world’s best silicon process technology, the best compute architecture, and our global scale," Otellini continued. "We are deeply engaged with a number of partners to bring to market innovative tablet solutions. Our design win momentum is very strong, and in the coming months and quarters, you will see Intel solutions that run on Windows, Android and MeeGo operating systems across a variety of form factors and price points. We fully expect to participate broadly and profitably in this category, and that in the end, the tablet category will be additive to our bottom line and not take away from it."
One technology that Intel hopes to lead it into winning the tablet space is the Oak Trail Atom platform. We're all familiar with the low-power computing aspect of the Atom in netbooks, but now Intel is retooling the little CPU to include 3G and 4G wireless chips as part of the SoC. The integration of processor and baseband technologies should make the Oak Trail Atom a rather compelling solution for tablets and even smartphones.