Intel Corp. on Thursday reaffirmed plans to start commercial shipments of its code-named Oak Trail platforms aimed at tablets and ultra-thin netbooks in the first quarter of next year. While the chip will not support PCI Express bus, it will support Microsoft Windows operating system as well as other software platforms.
"[We are] shipping [Oak Trail] for revenue in Q1 2011. [...] Oak Trail takes the Lincroft SoC (CPU + GPU + memory controller) and pairs it with a new PCH, codenamed Whitney Point. Whitney Point adds PCI support, enabling Windows support. We will most definitely be supporting Windows 7 with Oak Trail," said Suzy Ramirez, a spokeswoman for Intel.
Earlier this week the Federal Trade Commission and Intel reached agreement under which the company may omit support of PCI Express interface from its code-named Oak Trail system-on-chip aimed at tablets. PCI Express, which is compatible with PCI on the program level, could allow tablet makers to install additional up-to-date peripherals as well as Windows 7 OS onto tablets, something that is not possible with the current-generation low-power Atom Z600 "Moorestown" system-on-chip (SoC). As it appears, Intel decided not to include modern PCIe controller into Oak Trail, but stick to legacy PCI.
Oak Trail will deliver up to a 50% reduction in average power consumption with full HD-video playback (MPEG4-AVC, VC-1), according to Intel. Compared to the first-generation processor for ultra-slim netbooks - Atom Z500 "Menlow" - the new platform offers 40% smaller and 35% thinner package. The SoC will target a choice of operating systems including MeeGo, Windows 7 and Google Android or Chrome operating systems.