Looks like more Windows-powered tablets are heading our way. Intel has announced a new low-power mobile platform, code-named Oak Trail, which allows Windows machines to be built with Z600-series Atom processors for the first time.
As you might recall, the Atom Z600 lineup debuted almost a year ago as part of the Moorestown platform. Oak Trail's Atom Z670 processor component is part of the same family. Its single 45-nm core runs at 1.5GHz and features Hyper-Threading capabilities, a DDR2 memory controller, and GMA 600 integrated graphics with 1080p video decoding capabilities and HDMI output support. Intel has stuck to the same CPU package size of about 14 x 14 mm, as well.
What really distinguishes Oak Trail from Moorestown is the new companion platform controller hub. Unlike the old MP20 hub, Intel's new SM35 Express has I/O capabilities more in line with those of traditional PC chipsets—like Serial ATA support. Again, though, Intel has retained the same package size. Put together, Oak Trail's Atom Z620 processor and SM35 Express hub have a thermal envelope of just 3.75W.
Intel says we can look forward to no fewer than 35 Oak Trail-based "tablet and hybrid" designs from companies including Evolve III, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Motion Computing, Razer, and Viliv. The devices will purportedly run a "variety of operating systems," so Android and MeeGo could make appearances alongside Windows.
In related news, Intel plans to reveal more details about its next-generation, 32-nm Atom lineup (code-named Cedar Trail) at IDF in Beijing later this week. Cedar Trail will enable fanless designs and support wireless display technology, among other highlights. We should see the first Cedar Trail-based systems hit stores in the second half of the year.