On Thursday Intel introduced the Intel Atom Processor Z2760 "Clover Trail" dual-core, four-thread chip. The company said its form factor allows manufacturers to design the thinnest, lightest tablets to date – as thin as 8.5-mm and as light as 1.5 pounds. It also runs up to 1.8 GHz, and provides exceptionally long battery life with more than 3 weeks of connected standby and more than 10 hours of local HD video playback.
"Tablets and tablet convertibles powered by Intel Atom processors and running Windows 8 deliver a highly intuitive and responsive experience using touch, keyboard and mouse or a pen, while providing capabilities such as Intel Burst Technology, Intel Hyper-threading Technology," the company said. "Utilizing the multitasking capability of Intel architecture, people will experience incredibly fast response, allowing them to swiftly load and switch among their favorite applications."
The new chip is focusing on low-power-consumption Windows 8 devices that can be both tablets and laptops. These devices won't compete with the hybrids and Ultrabooks sporting Intel's Core-class processors, but rather the new Atom chip will serve to power cheaper alternatives for businesses and consumers without sacrificing key features found in the Core-based products.
"New low-power technology gives us the computing power, the flexibility, to be in both parts of Windows, and to put it in really cool, sexy devices," said Fredrik Hamberger, HP's Director of Consumer Product Marketing during Intel's press event held on Thursday in San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art.
Compared to previous Atom chips, the new version packs a higher clock speed while power usage has decreased. It uses a non-Intel PowerVR GPU, the SGX 544MP2, and also features a pair of new power states called S0i1 and S0i3. The former is an "active" sleep state that kicks in when the user isn't interacting with the device, but hasn't put the machine into sleep mode (instant on). The latter, S0i3, is a connected standby state.
Outside the 32-nm chip sporting a dual-core architecture and Hyper-Threading, the press event revealed that it supports cameras up to 8MP, includes hardware assisted AES encryption, and offers burst mode when you need a little extra speed. It also includes hardware video decoding so that Full HD video can be played with minimal power consumption.
"As more and more people take their devices on-the-go, such considerations as battery life and size have become increasingly important, and devices using the Intel Atom Z2760 offer a full-featured tablet computing experience that doesn’t compromise its performance over battery life. The dual-core, four-thread SoC provides exceptionally long battery life with more than 3 weeks of connected standby and more than 10 hours of local HD video playback," Intel said.
Intel also said the new chip sets a new bar for addressing IT demand for built-in security and manageability with Windows 8, and can seamlessly integrate into a business computing environment. Intel Atom Z2760 offers Secure Boot and firmware-based Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT).
The announcement of Intel's Atom Processor Z2760 was part of an unveiling of the first wave of new tablets and tablet convertible designs based on Intel Core vPro, Intel Core and Intel Atom processors.
"This is just the beginning of Intel’s effort in the tablet market, and our goal is to deliver products that fit the spectrum of evolving needs of both consumers and business users without compromising on compatibility, experience or battery life," said Erik Reid, general manager, Application Processor Platforms for Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group. "When people or corporations buy a device with Intel Inside, they’re getting the best of Windows 8 features with a computing experience that just works."