Intel launches Oak Trail tablet processor

“Intel has formally launched its Oak Trail processor, designed for use in tablet computers,” BBC News reports.

“The new microchip is smaller and uses less power than other models in its Atom range,” The Beeb reports. “Despite being the world’s largest manufacturer of microprocessors, Intel has been largely pushed out of the growing tablet market.”

The Beeb reports, “Until now, most devices have used chips designed by Apple and Cambridge-based Arm Holdings.”

MacDailyNews Take: Yeah, most devices, or the only ones that matter: iPad and iPad 2.

The Beeb reports, “Announcing Oak Trail’s retail name – the Z670 – Intel conceded that it was currently lagging behind the competition. ‘You won’t find a lot of Intel based tablets on the shelves at the moment,’ said Kevin O’Donovan, marketing manager for notebooks and tablets. However, he insisted that the company now had a competitive product. ‘2011 is about becoming relevant,’ he said.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “dab2” for the heads up.]


  1. Given Apple’s ecosystem and actual customer demand for iPads, Intel’s relevancy in the tablet market will only come to fruition when Apple wants to incorporate Oak Trail (if ever). Apple would need to see dramatic battery life and speed improvements to jump ship from their own in-house developed technologies. I wonder how these chips compare to the A5.

    Don’t let Gartner, the Hellen Kellar of technology, fool ya. When you think of trends for the tablet market, it’s best to predict along the lines of success seen with the iPod for the iPad. Intel needs Apple on this one.

    1. No chance for Intel here, because Apple has three microelectronics bureaus joined in itself together:
      1) very own, decades-long history and experience VLSI department (made chipsets, and separate chips varying from DSP to 3D accelerators in the past);
      2) P.A. Semi (very specific patents and energy-saving technologies which Intel does not have);
      3) Intrinsity.

      Combined, that is up to 500 engineers.

    1. I’m sure someone will put the ARM Cortex A15 into a netbook type device, and whatever comes after the A15 will probably be powerful enough for a laptop.

    1. How do you figure that?

      Seriously, microprocessors go into a lot of non-computer devices. Intel has to have a big slice of tat, with legacy 8 and 16 bit processors still being widely used. No one makes a 64 bit dedicated set-top box.

  2. Lofty goals for Intel — becoming relevant in 2011! How catchy is that? Intel has not been “pushed out” of the rapidly growing tablet market, it has been denied entry. You can never rule out a juggernaut like Intel, but their track record on ultramobile processors after years of effort has been fairly poor. That said, once Intel makes a breakthrough, it has the resources and production to go from last to first in a hurry.

    1. Don’t forget that Intel is located in a suburb of Portland, Oregon. Oregon is a state where (once you break out of the Metrosexual enclaves of Multnomah County) 90% of the population goes hunting and fishing regularly, and can actually find their own way home. Camouflage is part of the daily wardrobe. Disparage it at will to the kilt wearing, tattooed tribalists who pass for local intelligentsia in Portland, but it’s not a healthy activity in places like Bend or Pendleton.

  3. I imagine Apple is putting considerable R&D to stay ahead of both Intel and Arm for mobile devices.

    Jobs enjoyed having a unique and superior chip in the RISC/PowerPC days. Unfortunately he was dependent on Motorola and then IBM to develop it, which they stopped doing.

    It isn’t out of the question that Apple’s chip division might also have desktop and laptop designs underway.

  4. “I imagine Apple is putting considerable R&D to stay ahead of both Intel and Arm for mobile devices.”

    Hmm the A5 is based on ARM. Staying ahead isn’t really possible.

  5. Oak trail? What’s in a name? Let’s, see. First, you plant some acorns, nurture for many years and they grow into….. ARM Holdings! Oh, the irony!

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