Z-series Atom rumored to be replaced by Intel “Oak Trail”

Atom_Z520_vs_1Cent 

With the recent release of the Pine Trail platform with the new Intel Atom N450 processor, there has curiously been no news on the other Atom, the Z-series, which powers many popular MIDs, netbooks, and UMPCs including the venerable Sony VAIO P and more recently the Fujitsu UH900/LOOX U. With no direct replacement on Intel's roadmap and the Atom N450 being too large and less power efficient than the Z5xx processors to be considered as a replacement, it looked like Intel would simply stick with the existing design for the time being, with uncertainty surrounding the continuation of products like the VAIO P.

Many people have thought that the most likely successor to the Z-series would be the next generation Moorestown processor, an Atom SoC CPU specifically for MIDs and smartphones such as the upcoming LG GW990. But it is likely this chip will not be capable of running Windows, instead being designed for OS options such as Moblin and the upcoming MeeGo. Now out of the blue, PC Watch has a new rumor that Intel is in fact working on a new Atom processor codenamed "Oak Trail" that will be the true successor to the Z-series of chips.

Atom_logo Unfortunately this rumor is unconfirmed and nothing is known about Oak Trail apart from the assumption that it will likely also be a SoC design and hence more energy efficient than existing Z5xx CPUs. Another theory is that Oak Trail may be a Windows-capable version of the Moorestown design. 

Whatever may be the case, if this rumor proves to be true we can possibly look forward to a new generation of VAIO Ps, UH900s, and perhaps some other exciting new devices. The question is when can we expect Oak Trail to be announced and become available? What do you guys think of this rumor and its chances of being true?

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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