It seems to have a good day for Intel in coming year, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said today that its chips will be in more than 35 different tablet designs in 2011, while clarifying that two lines of Atom processors will be used in tablets. Most will run Windows, but about a third will go for Google’s Android OS and a few vendors will introduce MeeGo products.
“We’re going to make sure we support all of the viable operating systems that are in the marketplace,” Otellini said at the Barclays Capital 2010 Global Technology Conference. The conference audio was streamed live over the Internet.
He provided a handy chart showing the OS breakdown by vendor: Toshiba, Dell, Fujitsu are going Windows-only, while Asus and Lenovo are building both Windows and Android products, and Acer’s going straight MeeGo. (Remember, Acer’s using AMD in its Windows tablet.)
“We have two flavors of products,” Otellini said, speaking about the two lines of Atom processors for tablets. “One carries our PC legacy, the codename is Oak Trail. This is for the Windows environment. That’s important for people who want the advantage of PC peripheral compatibility. All the printers in the world work, all the USB drivers in the world work. Any PC peripheral will work perfectly well with Oak Trail. [It is a] very solid, high-performance, low-power version of Atom,” he said.
“We have an even more optimized [Atom] version called Moorestown. For people who want the most lightweight, longest battery life, thinnest machine. It doesn’t carry the PC compatibility. It’s got the x86 instruction set, so Internet compatibility is there, but we’re not worrying about legacy support [in Windows],” He added
Commenting the success of Apple’s iPad, which runs Apple’s A4 processor, based on ARM architecture, Otellini said that notebooks are still the more important market segment, as more than a million are sold each day, while Apple’s sells just over a million iPads each month.
“Consumer [tablet] products will roll out in the first half of next year on all three operating systems,” he said.
Otellini also said that Medfield-based smartphones won’t arrive until “mid-2011,” which is a bit of a delay from the “first half of 2011″ we’d been told in June. Sure, it doesn’t sound like the end of the world, but ARM-based competitors like Qualcomm, TI, and NVIDIA continue to push ever farther ahead with multicore designs, and Intel can’t very well catch up with delayed parts. Then again, if Intel can really deliver the performance and efficiency it’s been promising it might not matter — we’ll see what CES has in store.