At IDF 2013, the next-generation Intel Atom processor-based SoC for ultramobile devices had its official debut. “Bay Trail," Intel's first 22nm system-on-a-chip (SoC) for mobile devices, is based on a new low-power, high-performance Silvermont microarchitecture, which will power a range of innovative Android* and Windows* designs, most notably tablets and 2 in 1 devices:
“The "Bay Trail" family of processors is based on Intel's low-power, high-performance microarchitecture "Silvermont," announced in May 2013. The Intel® Atom™ Z3000 Processor Series ("Bay Trail-T") is the company's first mobile multi-core SoC and its most powerful offering1 to date for tablets and other sleek mobile designs. It delivers a fast and fluid experience and a powerful balance of performance, battery life, graphics and rich features.” – “Intel Launches New Multicore, Low-Power SoCs for Tablets, 2 in 1s and Other Computing Devices”, Intel Pressroom
Kevin Sellers, VP, Sales and Marketing Group at Intel, had this to say about Bay Trail:
“Bay Trail is based on the company’s much-lauded Silvermont microarchitecture and the chip’s low-power/high-performance 3-D transistors are expected to power a wide range of innovative designs.
We think Bay Trail will be a winner in mobile and are excited to introduce it to the world. Designed for both Android and Windows, Bay Trail out-smarts the competition in tablets, 2 in 1s, value laptops and desktops. Don’t take my word for it, though: A recent financial analyst report said that “Bay Trail/Silvermont will have a performance and performance/power advantage over competing ARM-based processors.” “– “A Glimpse of the Mobile Future: The Intel Developer Forum”
The Bay Trail architecture will significantly contribute expansion of the ultra-mobile segment that includes tablets, smartphones, and two-in-one tablets (such as the Ultrabook) that utilize PC function and mobile functions at the same time. More on what Bay Trail can do:
“First ever 22nm Atom processor: The new processor is the first ever 22nm Atom processor. It is a quad core System on Chip with 4 core/4threads. With CPU, Graphics, Memory, and connectivity in one package, this innovative modular design provides the flexibility to package a compelling processor graphics solution for multiple form factors.
Enhanced battery life: The new processor offers a battery life of greater than 10hours for active use cases and a standby performance of approximately 30 days. On a 35Whr battery, with 1080P local video play back, with 200 nits brightness configuration battery life is found to be around 12.5hours.
Graphics and Media Performance: The 4th generation Intel Atom processor is built with 7th generation GPU with burst technology providing stunning graphics and media experience. The new processor supports high resolution tablet displays upto 2560X1600 @60HZ and supports Intel Wireless display technology through Miracast. Seamless video play back is supported by a High performance, high quality, and low power HD H.264 encoder.”
Not absolutely convinced? Here’s a handy table that summarizes key difference between the 4th generation Intel Atom processor versus the 3rd generation Atom processor code named Clovertrail. Clovertrail was built on 32nm process technology. Baytrail offers longer battery life, better CPU and graphics performance.
Energy and battery
One of the most exciting features that the Bay Trail processor family offers is a distinct advantage in energy efficiency. In the following video, key Intel engineers and personnel explain how Intel is tackling the mobility challenge of longer battery life without sacrificing computing power, thereby delivering a user experience where neither power nor efficiency are compromised:
Additional information from Hermann Eul, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Mobile and Communications Group:
"What we have delivered with our Bay Trail platform is an incredibly powerful SoC that delivers outstanding performance, long battery life, and a great experience for the way people use these devices today. It's an incredible leap forward…..”
More price points
The tractability of the new Bay Trail microarchitecture allows for variations of the SoC to serve multiple market segments, including new Intel® Pentium® and Celeron® processors for entry 2 in 1s, laptops, desktops and all-in-one systems. The family of "Bay Trail" SoCs provides a wide range of options for Intel's customers. If you want to know more about the Bay Trail family of SOCs, see http://www.intel.com/newsroom/kits/idf/2013_fall/pdfs/bay_trail_fact_sheet.pdf.
The Bay Trail architecture will significantly contribute expansion of the ultra-mobile segment that includes tablets, smartphones, and two-in-one tablets (such as the Ultrabook) that utilize PC function and mobile functions at the same time. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced that more than 20 Android and Windows* 8 tablets based on Intel's new Bay Trail processor family will be on sale by the US holiday season, with prices ranging to below $100. More on this from ZDNet:
“For tablets, more than 20 Android and Windows 8 tablets based Intel's new Bay Trail Atom SoC will be on sale by the US holiday season, with prices ranging to below $100, he said. Bay Trail tablets will enjoy better performance and battery life than current Intel Clover Trail and Clover Trail+-based tablets thanks to Bay Trail's new Silvermont CPU microarchitecture and it being manufactured to a 22nm process using 3D Tri-Gate transistors.” – “Intel shows off fanless PCs, new phones, $100 tablets and wearables at IDF”, ZDNet.com
Bay Trail: a welcome addition
Bay Trail architecture is on course to significantly impact computing form factors. More from Forbes:
“I’ll cut to the chase for you here. Intel’s new Bay Trail Atom Z3000 absolutely crushes their previous generation Clover Trail design in terms of performance, no matter how you look at the numbers. Under standard compute workloads, web browsing and the like, Bay Trail clocks in on-par or faster than some of the latest ARM core designs….. All told, Intel has teed up Bay Trail quite nicely and the Atom Z3000 series could make for excellent alternative tablet offerings this Q4 shopping season. Windows 8 slates are being queued up now for the new platform and are expected to hit next month, with Android offerings reported soon to follow. Intel’s new Bay Trail Atom family is the proverbial “real deal.” “ – “Intel’s Bay Trail Impresses, Won’t Have Atom to Kick Around Anymore”, Forbes.com
What do you think of Bay Trail – and what are you looking forward to as this microarchitecture moves forward? Let us know in the comments.