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Intel hopes Clover Trail is a path to Windows 8 tablet success

by David Needle

January 3 2012

Windows 8 tablets based on Intel's new Clover Trail chips are likely to be available later this year.
Windows 8 tablets based on Intel's new Clover Trail chips are likely to be available later this year.

Intel has a dual-core Atom chip in the works due to come out about the same time as Microsoft’s Windows 8. But can it win over tablet makers?

Medfield is the next iteration of Intel’s Atom line that figures  prominently in the company’s plans to win over mobile device makers who, so far, have largely gone with rival ARM processors. But with Medfield, a single-core processor, Intel is mainly targeting mobile phone makers, though some tablet makers, particularly at the low end, may well adopt it. Asus for one, is rumored to be planning to release a 7-inch tablet based on the Medfield processor. 

Next up after Medfield is Clover Trail, a dual-core Atom processor that CNet reports is due out later this year, around the same time Microsoft is planning to release its Windows 8 operating system designed for tablets. 

It’s not known whether Intel CEO Paul Otellini will discuss tablets or preview Clover Trail at next week’s CES show in Las Vegas, but he’s more likely to focus on Ultrabooks, a new notebook design the chip giant is actively encouraging portable computer makers to adopt. 

However, CNet believes Intel will publicly or privately show Clover Trail-based prototype tablets running Windows 8 at CES in an attempt to attract developer and vendor interest. 

The Taiwan-based publications Digitimes claimed in a report today that it expects Acer and Lenovo to offer tablets powered by Clover Trail chips in the third quarter of this year, an estimate that’s a bit of ahead of other reports that say Windows 8 tablets won’t be availble till the fall. 

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