Intel improves on mobile technology


  • TECH
  • Friday, 09 Jul 2010

WHILE Intel is popularly known for its Core i3, i5 and i7 line of microprocessors, the company has also been actively working on a number of technologies in the mobile computing arena.

In a recent event, the company provided updates on Intel Wireless Display as well as the Intel Atom processor and the company’s plans to eventually integrate the features into high-end smartphones.

PC to HDTV wirelessly

One of the interesting products currently shipping is based on Intel’s Wireless Display, which allows a user with a laptop to stream video and audio to a HDTV without cables.

Wireless Display technology works over WiFi and on the HDTV end, requires a set-top box to be plugged in via the HDMI interface.

According to David McCloskey, director of platform marketing and business operations for Intel Asia Pacific, while the slight lag in Wireless Display rules out PC gaming, the technology is ideal for displaying photos and even watching movies.

The technology is part of the 2010 Intel Core processor family, which includes certain models of the Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors, along with a compatible wireless-N chipset.

The set-top box itself is a third party product — the model demonstrated at the workshop was a Netgear Push2TV device.

Power of the Atom

McCloskey also provided updates on Intel’s direction with the Atom processor, the low-power x86-based CPUs used in most netbooks.

According to McCloskey, Intel is set to ship dual-core versions of the Atom processor for netbooks by Dec 2010, based on the Pine Trail platform.

The upcoming Atom processor is still based on Pineview, which is the Atom CPU produced on Intel’s 45nm process with an integrated memory controller and GPU (similar to the currently shipping Atom N450 processors), which results in faster performance and lower power consumption.

The difference is that while dual-core Atoms have been available for the desktop for a while now, the upcoming dual-core Atoms will have the low power consumption required for mobile use.

Moving further forward, Intel is set to introduce the Oak Trail platform in 2011, which is the Atom platform optimised for “tablets and sleeker netbook form factors.”

With Oak Trail, Intel promises to reduce the average power consumption of the platform by up to 50%, while still offering full-HD video playback.

The ultimate goal for Intel is to integrate the Atom platform into even smaller devices, such as high-end smartphones and handhelds, which will require even lower and more efficient power consumption.

The company hopes to achieve this with the Atom platform formerly known as Moorestown, which will take the system-on-chip idea further.

The platform not only integrates the 45nm Atom core, graphics, video engines, and memory and display controllers but is also optimised for even lower power consumption than the Pine Trail platform.

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