Details leak on next-gen Atom tablet SoC


— 11:23 AM on November 20, 2012

Although tablets with Clover Trail Atom CPUs have yet to hit the market, we're already getting hints about Clover Trail's next-generation replacement. A collection of presentation slides leaked to Mobile Geeks compares the new platform to its Bay Trail-T successor. The next-gen platform isn't due until 2014, and it should be quite a departure.

According to the slides, Bay Trail-T will comprise a Valleyview-T system-on-a-chip fabbed using 22-nm process technology. Clover Trail is built on the 32-nm process used to fab Sandy Bridge, but Bay Trail will get upgraded to the tri-gate, 22-nm transistors used for Ivy Bridge. Intel will be making changes inside the Atom CPU core, as well, trading the old in-order microarchitecture for a new Silvermont design that offers out-of-order execution.

Interestingly, the slides suggest that Hyper-Threading isn't part of the Silvermont architecture; the Valleyview-T SoC is listed as a quad-core, four-thread chip. The clock speed is pegged at 2.1GHz, and performance is purportedly up 50-60% versus Clover Trail.

On the graphics front, Intel is purportedly moving away from the PowerVR GPU used by current Atom processors in favor of its own "Gen7" integrated graphics. The new GPU will improve performance by a factor of three and add support for DirectX 11, the slides say. Looks like USB 3.0 will be included in the platform, as well. Serial ATA support doesn't appear to have made the cut, but this is Bay Trail-T, which refers to the tablet version of the platform. SATA, PCI Express, and Gigabit Ethernet connectivity are expected to appear in the full-fat version of Valleyview, which we wrote about in September.

   
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