Intel's Z3000 Bay Trail chips promise better CPU and GPU performance in tablets for lower price
Intel has launched its first Silvermont processors, and they're called the Atom Z3000 "Bay Trail" series. The important thing about these chips is that Intel promises twice the CPU performance and three-times the GPU performance.
Bay Trail is the codename for a family of three chips based on the next-generation 22nm Silvermont architecture, and it is the successor to the chips codenamed “Clover Trail". Out of the three, the Z3000-series for tablets and hybrids is the most noteworthy.
Everyone who has ever played with a Windows Surface RT tablet knows that its ARM chips were slow and unable to run powerful apps yet decent on battery life, whereas The Surface Pro had brawnier chips that could handle practically anything but sucked the life out of batteries. Intel's Bay Trail is the happy medium.
The Z3000 processors will be available in in dual- or quad-core options, and they for 7- to 11.6-inch tablet form factors running Windows 8.1 or Android. Intel has claimed that Bay Trail would deliver all the performance that a power user would need, while guaranteeing over eight hours of juice and three weeks of standby in tablets.
As for pricing, Intel said devices with its latest Atom SoC would cost as low as $199. The company also said Bay Trail would be ready in the fourth quarter of 2013 from "leading OEMs" like Acer, ASUS, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba. It has even promised support for 64-bit in tablets - but that won't arrive until early 2014.