Intel Corp. on Monday said that tablets powered by its Atom-based system-on-chip (SoC) code-named Oak Trail would become available next month. The slates powered by Atom Z670 chip will come from different manufacturers and will run Microsoft Windows 7 operating system.
"Oak Trail tablets are expected to start hitting shelves in May and throughout 2011," said an Intel spokeswoman in an interview with PC Advisor web-site without revealing any additional details.
A number of companies, including Lenovo, Fujitsu, Samsung and Motion Computing, have already shown off Oak Trail tablets running Windows 7. However, it is not known which manufacturer will be first to release a slate powered by Intel Atom Z670.
It is rather noteworthy that manufacturers are more interested in making tablets powered by the Oak Trail platform, which supports Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, and are not interested in building slates based on Moorestown platform, which cannot work with Windows. Intel also works on MeeGo operating system for tablets and netbooks, but it is unclear when slates with MeeGo emerge on the market. The world’s largest maker of chips expects to see Atom-based devices running Google's Android OS in the “near future”.
Intel Atom Z670 has one x86 processing core with Hyper-Threading technology and operates at 1.50GHz. The code-named Lincroft chip also integrates Intel GMA 600 graphics core (OpenGL ES 2.0, OpenGL 2.1, OpenVG 1.1, 400MHz), 32-bit LPDDR1/DDR2 memory controller and video encode/decode logic. It is paired with platform controller hub (PCB) code-named Whitney Point that enables support of Microsoft Windows operating system. The Atom Z670 costs $75 in 1000-unit quantities, which is not a low price, especially compared to ARM-powered system-on-chip devices.