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Intel unveils Bay Trail, Quark and Broadwell processors

Intel has unveiled its new range of processors during the annual Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

New Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich took the keynote stage at IDF, outlining the company’s future plans and new range of processors – the Bay Trail Atom, Broadwell and Quark SoC designs.

“Innovation and industry transformation are happening more rapidly than ever before, which play to Intel’s strengths”, said Krzanich during the keynote. “We have the manufacturing technology leadership and architectural tools in place to push further into lower power regimes. We plan to shape and lead in all areas of computing.”

The Intel Bay Trail Atom is a 22nm SoC specifically designed for Android and Windows tablets and hybrid devices. It will provide better performance and battery life than its predecessor and will help keep tablet costs low.

Already featured in the new 8-inch Windows 8.1 Toshiba Encore tablet, Intel is also looking to power other form factors with the Bay Trail Atom chip.  

“Smartphones and tablets are not the end-state,” said Krzanich. “The next wave of computing is still being defined. Wearable computers and sophisticated sensors and robotics are only some of the initial applications.”

The next-generation Broadwell chips are 14nm SoCs that are die-shrinks of Haswell. Offering even better power saving than the Intel Haswell chips, Intel will start mass production of the Broadwell chips by the end of the year.

“Broadwell provides another 30 per cent power performance and we’re not done yet,” explained Krzanich.

The biggest surprise of the IDF keynote was the new Quark chips that are a fifth of the size of the Intel Silvermont Atom parts. The Quark chips have a power draw around 90 per cent lower than the Silvermont Atoms too and are based on a subset of the x86 architecture.

Built on a 32nm process node, the Intel Quark is designed for wearable devices, industrial and medical applications.

“It’s the smallest thing we’ve ever built,” said Renee James, Intel President.

The Quark could be used to power new connected home devices, even something like a light switch or transportation control systems in the future due to its tiny size.

“It’s very much the next frontier,” added James. “It takes us down to a level we haven’t been at before.”

Next, read our pick of the best Windows 8 laptops, tablets, convertibles and PCs.

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