Atom-Based Tablets Expected in May: Intel

By CIOinsight  |  Posted 04-04-2011

Tablets powered by Intel's upcoming "Oak Trail" Atom processor reportedly should start hitting the market in May.

In an interview with PC Advisor, an Intel spokesperson said the Atom-powered tablets will start becoming available around the time of the Computex trade show in Taiwan, which runs May 31 through June 4.

"Oak Trail tablets are expected to start hitting shelves in May and throughout 2011," the Intel spokesperson said.

Intel is eager to gain a strong foothold in the burgeoning tablet market, which currently is dominated by chips from such vendors as Samsung, Texas Instruments and Qualcomm based on designs from ARM Holdings. Intel executives are working to expand Intel's reach beyond its core server and PC markets and into such businesses as smartphones, tablets and embedded devices.

They want to leverage the Atom platform--initially created for the netbook space--as a pathway into tablets and smartphones. Intel executives have not been shy about their intentions. In October 2010, while announcing quarterly financial results, President and CEO Paul Otellini said the company will move aggressively into the tablet space.

"We will use all of the assets at our disposal to win this segment," Otellini said at the time. "We fully expect to participate fully and broadly in this market."

Oak Trail is one of two Atom chips aimed at the tablet space. Oak Trail is designed for tablets running Windows, while "Moorestown" will power tablets running Google's Android OS and MeeGo, a Linux-based operating system developed by Intel and Nokia. The MeeGo plans took a hit when Nokia announced in February its intention to make Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 the primary software platform for its smartphones.

Days later, Otellini said Intel still intended to develop the MeeGo operating system. During the Intel Developer Forum in September 2010, the chip maker had a number of Atom-powered tablets on display, running both Android and MeeGo.

For more, read the eWEEK article: Intel: Atom-Based Tablets Set for May Releases.