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Intel targeting Ivy Bridge processors at Windows 8 tablets

Agam Shah | April 16, 2012
Intel's upcoming Core i-series processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture are being pitched at ultrabooks, but the company is now extending the chips to high-performance tablets with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

McCarron didn't know the specific tablet implementations Intel was targeting, but said the 7-series chipset accompanying Ivy Bridge processors could be tweaked for tablets. Enterprises are a better fit for Ivy Bridge tablets than gamers, who usually need high-resolution displays, refresh rates and graphics performance, McCarron said.

Most tablets today come with ARM processors, and ARM-based chip makers Nvidia and Qualcomm are targeting faster quad-core chips at tablets. ARM has an advantage on power consumption, while Intel is better on raw performance, analysts said.

Intel is throwing its weight behind its Atom and Ivy Bridge processors to see if it can gain some market share against ARM, said Jim McGregor, an independent chip analyst.

"They are going after every angle they can to get a foothold in a market," McGregor said, adding that Intel has had limited success to date.

Gaming tablets with ARM are now available, and Intel may be targeting Ivy Bridge chips to disrupt ARM's dominance in the area, McGregor said.

Intel is working with Microsoft on Windows 8 tablets, but also has a relationship with Google on Android so the chip maker will have to play its cards carefully, McGregor said. But the higher performance on Intel's Ivy Bridge chips may be relevant for specific productivity applications on both operating systems compared to ARM.

"If they can find higher performance, then it'll be to their advantage," McGregor said.

 

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