Intel announces Oak Trail next-generation ultra mobile platform for tablets and UMPCs


The launch of the new Intel Atom Z6xx (aka Moorestown) platform and the updated Atom N-series Pine Trail earlier this year left a notable gap in Intel's growing mobile CPU family with no update for the long-serving Atom Z5xx Menlow platform. Rumors of new chips known as Oak Trail and Moorestown-W fueled speculation, which intensified when Intel revealed its plans to launch a dedicated processor for the tablet space at Computex. True to form, the company has indeed taken the wraps off new silicon today at the convention in Taiwan with the official launch of the Oak Trail platform intended for tablets, slim netbooks, and UMPCs.

Quite simply, the previous rumors of Oak Trail and Moorestown-W were actually referring to the same architecture, with the new platform being based on the smartphone-specific Moorestown, retaining its energy-efficient Lincroft processor core while adding the Whitney Point system chipset and most significantly, providing support for the full version of Windows and other operating systems, including MeeGo and Google OSs. Being based on the same core as Moorestown means Oak Trail will bring similar benefits to the tablet/UMPC space with much improved energy efficiency, a fanless design for smaller/slimmer devices, 1080p full HD video acceleration, the faster 400MHz GMA 600 GPU, and support for HDMI output.

Apart from UMPCs such as the Sony Vaio P and Fujitsu UH900, Intel is clearly targeting the new chip at the tablet space. The company hasn't revealed any further specifics, but from what we know, Oak Trail should prove to be quite a significant upgrade from Menlow across the board and I can't wait to see what new devices will use the new silicon. The only problem is that we won't be able to get our hands on any potential Oak Trail-powered devices until next year, with the chip set to launch during Q1 2011 at the earliest.

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Jeremy To

Jeremy is a former editor at Pocketables.

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