If the lines of press waiting to get into press conferences is any indication of expectations then people had high hopes for Intel’s display today. Their show started with an update to their smartphone platform, but it isn’t really worth mentioning as they are really only targeting emerging markets.
The next item that Intel had to show was their forthcoming 22nm Atom system-on-a-chip processor, codenamed “Bay Trail”. It is the follow up to the Clover Trail line that is already offered in many devices including Windows 8 tablets. Bay Trail will be more than twice as powerful as the current generation of Atom processors and will also be quad-core. We can expect to see devices utilizing this new chip around holiday 2013.
Intel also discussed their next generation of the Core series processors and their specific requirements for any laptop wanting to use the Ultrabook designation. The battery life increase in the 4th generation Core series processors is the greatest increase in one generation in the history of Intel. These new processors will also support Connected Standby in Windows 8. This is the feature present in Clover Trail devices that keeps a very low-power consumption network connection active even while the PC is in standby. This allows it to always keep apps, such as your email, up to date. There is also new antitheft technology built in to help disable your PC if it’s stolen. Intel is also requiring that new Ultrabooks have a touchscreen and Intel’s wireless display technology called WiDi. They showed off a reference detachable laptop/tablet with a 4th generation Core series processor that was only 10mm thick, 850 grams, and could last for more than 10 hours on battery power. When docked with the keyboard it would last 13 hours. Maybe even more surprisingly, Intel is saying that devices like this should cost $799 or $899.
Intel also briefly talked about a partnership they have with Comcast to provide a new premium TV experience. It uses a Comcast Xfinity device that essentially creates a media gateway that allows devices around the house to watch live and recorded TV on their devices without using a set-top box. Unfortunately Intel didn’t offer any details. Potentially even more frustrating is that the press release seems to indicate that it would only be compatible with next generation Intel powered devices.
The press conference concluded with a look at Intel’s Preceptual Computing platform. The idea is to involve more of your senses when using a computer. They showed a 3D depth camera, similar to Microsoft’s Kinect, that they claimed could accurately track finer movement. When they actually showed a demo it didn’t look nearly as accurate as they had described it.
While we certainly wouldn’t call anything that Intel showed revolutionary, there were a lot of very nice improvements to their line of products. And let’s not forget, this company is absolutely dominating the PC processor space, and the enhancements that they are making to their products for tablets could keep them in the lime light for a long time to come.