Intel Makes Mobile Bid With New Tablet Chip

Armed with a new power-saving chip, Intel enters the mobile device market

1 min read
Intel Makes Mobile Bid With New Tablet Chip

Intel formally entered the mobile device market on Monday, with the unveiling of its new system-on-a-chip platform for tablet computers, the Atom Z670 (formerly known by the code name "Oak Trail").

Over the years, Intel has been notably absent from the mobile market, presently dominated by UK-based chip designer ARM. The big stumbling block has creating processors that maintain performance without drawing too much power. Intel thinks it's found a power solution with the Z600 series. "2011 is about becoming relevant," Intel notebooks and tablets marketing manager Kevin O'Donovan told the BBC.

According to Intel's announcement, the 45-nanometer Atom Z670 processor boasts more than 35 design agreements and will begin appearing in devices beginning in May. A next-generation, 32-nanometer Atom processor is expected to ship by the end of the year.

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A Circuit to Boost Battery Life

Digital low-dropout voltage regulators will save time, money, and power

11 min read
Image of a battery held sideways by pliers on each side.
Edmon de Haro

YOU'VE PROBABLY PLAYED hundreds, maybe thousands, of videos on your smartphone. But have you ever thought about what happens when you press “play”?

The instant you touch that little triangle, many things happen at once. In microseconds, idle compute cores on your phone's processor spring to life. As they do so, their voltages and clock frequencies shoot up to ensure that the video decompresses and displays without delay. Meanwhile, other cores, running tasks in the background, throttle down. Charge surges into the active cores' millions of transistors and slows to a trickle in the newly idled ones.

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