Intel: Oak Trail to ship early 2011

Intel is on track to launch an improved chip platform aimed at the fast-expanding tablet market, where so far it has trailed nimble competitors that specialise in cheap low-power processors.

Intel: Oak Trail to ship early 2011

Code-named Oak Trail and due to begin shipping in early 2011, the chips have much-improved energy efficiency and hold their own compared to processors made by rivals, marketing director Anil Nanduri told Reuters.

“The biggest power part of the tablet is the panel. In terms of an idle-use case we are competitive in a tablet usage compared to any other solution out there,” he said.

The microprocessor at the center of Oak Trail lets users watch high-definition video for up to eight hours without recharging their batteries, an improvement from previous versions, Nanduri said.

Sales of tablet computers have exploded since Apple launched its iPad in January and Intel is anxious to stake a claim in the market as manufacturers like Samsung, HP and Dell launch competing products.

Tablet shipments should grow by nearly 200% next year, while notebooks and other PCs will expand just 13%, according to a recent report by market research firm iSuppli.

Intel makes the microprocessors that run eight out of 10 personal computers around the world but it has struggled to get its chips into smartphones.

The mobile market is dominated by UK-based ARM, which licenses designs for energy-efficient chips to Nvidia, Marvell and Qualcomm.

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