Moorestown gets Windows support, heads to tablets

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.

Comments closed
    • odizzido
    • 9 years ago

    3.75W is pretty sexy, but since fusion came out I really have my heart set on a netbook that can play 1080p video + output HDMI. Unfortunately nobody seems interested in making something smaller than 10 inches unless it’s a tablet these days :\

    • ET3D
    • 9 years ago

    I love those tiny UMPC’s like the Viliv N5. This will be a small upgrade for them, slightly faster CPU with faster graphics. Hopefully AMD will be able to get into this space with its next generation Fusion.

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    So how does this compare to an A5 or tegra2?

      • sweatshopking
      • 9 years ago

      not well. crappier graphics, but slightly faster cores, with much higher power consumption.

        • grantmeaname
        • 9 years ago

        core*

      • Hattig
      • 9 years ago

      Three times the cost (A5 estimated to cost Apple $25 – that also includes 512MB on-chip RAM though).

      Far higher TDP (3.75W vs. ?W – but iPad 2 can run over ten hours off a 25Wh battery).

      Single core @ 1.5GHz + HyperThreading (+30%?) vs two cores @ 1GHz each. Cortex A9 IPC is said to be similar or higher than Atom IPC, so single threaded performance is higher on Atom, but multithreaded could be lower.

      GMA600 is undocumented – if it’s GMA500 running faster, then it’s merely an SGX535. That’s far far slower than the SGX543MP2 in the A5.

      Bigger physical footprint – two chip solution.

      The only reason to use this chip is to make Windows 7 tablets and even thinner netbooks running Windows 7. Anybody else will use ARM, especially given the wide variety of offerings available. As soon as the dual core ARM SoCs with faster cores (1.4GHz+) come out, even CPU performance isn’t a win for Intel – apart from their compiler skills.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        Thanks — so it sounds like the only way that Intel could have beaten A5 would have been if they used 32 nm instead of 45 nm (A5 used 45 nm, too). Kinda seems like they won’t really be serious about mobile until they start using their most advanced fab tech.

        Intel’s two main advantages have always been software compatibility and manufacturing. In this market the first one is kind of irrelevant and they’re tying their arm behind their back on the second. Kinda weird…

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    I see no place in the world for this chip, sadly..

    • grantmeaname
    • 9 years ago

    So this is an Atom at 1.5GHz and single core?

      • phileasfogg
      • 9 years ago

      I think it’s the Z670 and not Z620 – Intel’s new price list up today at [url<]http://www.intc.com[/url<] shows a Z670 with 512K cache, 1 core, 2 threads, 45nm, at 1.5GHz ($75). Anyway, I'm disappointed to see that they use DDR2 - why'd they do that? Standard DDR2 runs at 1.80V, while DDR3 runs at 1.50V and LP-DDR3 at an even better 1.35V. So the latter two would have been no-brainer choices for Intel.

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 9 years ago

        There is no such animal as LPDDR3. You seem to be thinking of DDR3L, but DDR3 can go much lower than that, especially at the low speeds a single core Atom can easily get away with.

        But why they don’t use LPDDR2 is beyond me. They have to already have that working if they’re actually going to put this in phones at any point in the near future. It’s all stupid, no matter how you look at it.

          • NeelyCam
          • 9 years ago

          It could be LPDDR2-800… maybe the Ark just doesn’t do LP. I mean, otherwise it doesn’t make sense.

          EDIT: Google doesn’t find anything reasonable with “Z670 LPDDR2”. Maybe this really is DDR2..?!

          Weak. I guess have to wait for Medfield to fix things.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    [quote<]no fewer than 35 Oak Trail-based "tablet and hybrid" designs from companies including Evolve III, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Motion Computing, Razer, and Viliv.[/quote<] That's an interesting list of partners for an Intel platform launch. The only one that could be considered a "big player" is Lenovo, of course. Acer, Dell, ASUS, and HP are all nowhere to be found in the list, and are obviously no longer very interested in putting out high-profile Windows 7 based tablets. The Razer mention is [url=https://techreport.com/discussions.x/20232<]particularly interesting[/url<], though.

    • yuhong
    • 9 years ago

    “allows Windows machines to be built with Z600-series Atom processors for the first time.”
    To be more precise, the SM35 chipset is IBM PC compatible unlike the other chipset, allowing any standard x86 OS to run out of the box, Windows being only one of them.

      • thermistor
      • 9 years ago

      We are totally kickin’ it 80’s old school – “IBM compatible,” baby!

        • yuhong
        • 9 years ago

        But the fact is that most modern OSes still depends on the chain of backward compatibility dating back to the IBM PC/AT (the BIOS definitely does). UEFI with it’s runtime services may change this, but Moorestown is a 32-bit only chip.

      • djgandy
      • 9 years ago

      It has a PCI bus too which is key for windows.

        • sirsoffrito
        • 9 years ago

        Does it? I seems to say “No” under Expansion Options on the product page. Intel has to do the strangest product numbering. I’m so confused.

          • djgandy
          • 9 years ago

          It might not have physical expansion slots, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a PCI bus.

          I can’t be certain, but I’m guessing given the hardware options it has with it that it has a PCI bus for them to work. Plus I am not sure how windows works without a PCI bus. With EFI it may change, but I thought that the PCI address space and old style bios were a requirement for running windows.

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