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Oct 3, 2014

Intel and AMD Continue to Bet on Tablets, New Chips Coming in 2015




Microsoft has initiated a fierce war against Google and its Chromebooks. With the advent of Windows 8.1 with Bing, we have seen many device manufacturers launch inexpensive Windows notebooks, designed to take customers’ mind off Chrome-OS laptops.

But the power of Chromebooks and Bingbooks combined is expected to put a pressure on the slowing tablet market, as more and more vendors roll out cheap notebooks, say industry watchers. On top of that, smartphones with bigger screens will also impact overall tablet sales. Tablets with 7-inch displays used to hold for over 70% marketshare, but these numbers have dropped to 60% because of handsets with big screens. The demand for tablets seems to be going downwards, but chip makers like AMD and Intel continue to persist in their hopes that all is not lost. According to DigiTimes, both giants are expected to unveil new tablet platforms in 2015.

Intel to roll out Cherry Trail

Starting with Intel, the company is expected to roll out Cherry Trail, a 14nm-based SoC processor platform which has been designed especially for tablets taking advantage of Intel’s 8th-gen GPU. These tablets will take advantage of both Android and Windows OS. Intel will unveil Cherry Trail in the first quarter of 2015, while volume production will kick start in March. Apart from Cherry Trail, Intel is hard work on the Atom Z3000 processor designed for the 64-bit tablet market. Moreover, Intel also has some 4G chips in the pipeline, in the form of the SoFIA-series processors. Intel has partnered up with Chinese low-cost chip maker Rockchip for the development of next-gen SoFIA chips for Android tablets, but despite this alliance Intel is still expected to face important obstacles in its assault against Qualcomm or MediaTek.

On top of that, Intel had hoped its partnership with Rockchip will help it transition more smoothly into the Chinese market, which is a budding market while tablets are concerned, but the company is just not there yet.

AMD has Nolan and Armur

For its part, AMD will launch the Nolan, an x86-architecture tablet platform and Armur. This is said to be heterogeneous system architecture (HSA) Android-specific tablet platform which is based on ARM Cortex-A7. Both Nolan and Armur are expected to arrive a little later than Cherry Trail, namely in the third quarter of 2015, said to sources inside the supply chain. Armur is a platform that will be able to support both Android and Linux and AMD is currently testing it internally.

Intel and AMD continue to focus on tablets
Image credits to New Computer Build

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