Windows 8 tablets that run on Intel Clover Trail processors, unlike those using ARM chips, can run apps written for Windows 7 and other older versions of Windows, Intel says.
Windows 8 Preview: Key Features
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Intel said it has deals in place that will see as many as 20 Windows 8 tablets hit the market equipped with processors from its Clover Trail line. These will go head-to-head with chips designed by U.K.-based ARM in the battle for the tablet silicon market.
Clover Trail, formally known as Atom SoC, uses Intel's 32-nanometer transistor technology and is designed to combine high performance with long battery life.
Speaking at the Computex show in Taipei Tuesday, Intel senior VP Tom Kilroy said the company has 20 design wins with computer makers for the manufacture of Clover Trail-based Windows 8 tablets.
Kilroy did not identify the OEMs or announce shipping dates, but it's widely expected that Windows 8 tablets will hit the market this fall. Hewlett-Packard, Dell, and Lenovo are among the hardware makers that will likely produce Intel-based Windows 8 tablets or hybrid systems. On Monday, Asus and Acer demoed their own Windows 8 systems at Computex.
To date, ARM-designed chips manufactured by the likes of Nvidia and Qualcomm have been the silicon of choice for tablet makers such as Samsung and Motorola. And Apple uses its own ARM chips in the iPad.
Hoping to make a splash in the market with the arrival of Windows 8 tablets, Intel says it's got a big advantage over its rivals: Windows 8 tablets that run Clover Trail, unlike ARM-based Windows 8 RT tablets, will be capable of running applications that were written for Windows 7 and other older versions of Windows.
Kilroy also said Intel plans to play in the Windows 8 market with chips designed for the next generation of Ultrabooks, which will be geared to take advantage of the touch-centric Metro. "Our life experiences are designed by our senses--by what we see, hear, and touch," said Kilroy, during a Computex keynote. "These human senses are at the foundation of Intel's vision for the Ultrabook to deliver a no-compromise, must-have computing experience."
Intel's Windows 8 Ultrabooks will be powered by the company's 3rd Generation Intel Core processors, which feature 22nm 3-D tri-gate transistors. "We are one step closer to meeting that vision with the arrival of the next wave of 3rd Generation Intel Core processor-powered devices," said Kilroy.
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