Realistically, the future of computing is in the tablet form factor. Increasingly cheap tablets are eating into PC market share, and Intel… very much wants that to happen with its new tablet-focused chips.
Lots Of Power For Cheap
Specifically, Intel wants you to be using their Atom processors for everything. The Atom line is pretty easy to find if you know where to look; Intel has engineered it as a power-sipping CPU built specifically for mobile computing, and it’s also built for cost. Intel apparently sees the future not as building just faster processors, but apparently building mobile processors as well.
The big question is when these new, super-powerful tablets are going to come out. Currently, the Atom processors available are part of the Cedar line, since Intel for some reason enjoys naming its processors the way real estate developers name housing developments (seriously, “Bay Trail?”) and we know the Silvermont processors are coming, but what Intel is talking about is really the first practical application they expect.
What isn’t clear is when we might actually see these processors. We know Silvermont and Airmont are coming, mind you, but Intel is being cagey about the release schedules.
Why You Should Care
Essentially, because it means that tablets are going to accelerate, and rapidly, in power while dropping exponentially in cost. True, Atom processors aren’t exactly Pentium-grade bulldozers, but they are effective and powerful processors, and Intel wants to sell a lot of them. That means Intel is going to back a lot of cheap Android tablets in a bid to grab control of the tablet market, or at least make Qualcomm and Samsung pay attention to them as a threat.
In other words, tablets might essentially become completely ubiquitous, like paperback books, within a few years. And that’s something we can all get excited about.