Feeds

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

Inside Clover Trail

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

IDF 2012 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 Z-series Atom platform, Medfield, with its single CPU core system-on-a-chip, Penwell.

Clover Trail's central component is an SoC which will incorporate a pair of HyperThreading enabled cores, each with 512KB of L2 cache; dedicated 30fps 1080p video encoding and decode units; an image processing unit for fast photo manipulation, separate from the 2D/3D graphics; a security module; and IO circuitry and controllers for HDMI 1.3, USB, SDIO, Flash storage and low-power DDR 2.

The broader platform - the chips and parts outside the SoC, but still part of Clover Trail - include 8Mp rear and 2Mp front cameras; up to 64GB of Flash storage; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G HSPA+ connectivity; and NFC.

Clover Trail Plus has essentially the same SoC elements, though the CPU module of the SoC is slightly different, Intel staff indicated. It'll ship as the Atom Z2580. The Medfield smartphone SoC, the Atom Z2460, clocks at up to 2GHz. That's its burst mode speed, a peak it'll reach if there's thermal headroom for it to do so, and its successor is likely to go higher. The Z2580 is slightly bigger than the Z2460: 14mm² to the latter's 12mm².

There'll also be an SoC for budget smartphones, the Z2000. It'll run at up to 1.2GHz.

On the tablet side, the Clover Trail SoC will reach 1.8GHz, up from the current Z2610's 1.6GHz.

Both incoming SoCs support up to 2GB of LPDDR 2 in a package-on-package configuration: the memory die piggy-backs on the SoC, saving motherboard space. Intel reckons the resulting tablets need be no thicker than 8.5mm even so.

Both Clover Trail SoCs will be fabbed at 32nm. 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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.