Notebook Makers Passing on Intel Oak Trail

Notebook Makers Passing on Intel Oak Trail

Summary: According to DigiTimes, notebook makers are impressed with the Nvidia Tegra 2 enough to pass on Intel's Oak Trail processor. The threat posed by the Tegra 2 should give concern to Intel for the long haul.


The darling of this year's CES was Nvidia, with its Tegra 2 processor that is ready to set the smartphone and tablet world on fire. According to DigiTimes, notebook makers are impressed enough with the Tegra 2 to pass on Intel's Oak Trail processor. Oak Trail is the processor Intel planned on gaining acceptance by tablet makers, but the lack of devices using the processor at CES indicates OEMs have other plans. The DigiTime sources indicate Intel is already making price concessions to attract OEMs to Oak Trail:

Since Oak Trail has only been adopted by Fujitsu, Toshiba and Samsung Electronics for their tablet PCs and these vendors are not showing an aggressive attitude to mass produce models, while HP, which originally planned to launch an Oak Trail-based tablet PC, also stepped back and is reevaluating its plans, Intel is offering Oak Trail at a price point of around US$40, about the same as Nvidia's Tegra 2, and the company will even give a further discount for large volume orders, the sources noted.

The Nvidia processor appeared in a number of smartphones and tablets debuting at the CES, and indications are it is poised to give Intel a serious run in the mobile space. The Tegra 2 dual-core processor is onboard some of the top gadgets at CES, including the Motorola Atrix 4G and the XOOM tablet. The mobile space is the hot segment in the computing industry, and this is the first time in memory that Intel faces some serious competition.

Topics: Hardware, Intel, Laptops, Mobility

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Is Nvidia on to something?

    Are we seeing a change of the guard? I think the CPU ecosystem is starting to go a direction towards smaller and lower powered systems. Yet Intel which came out with the Atom was less then perfect. I am skeptical that Nvidia will really do well as yet. Nobody has really used these products with the Tegra's so I think its too early to say how they will afect Intel or AMD for that matter.
  • RE: Notebook Makers Passing on Intel Oak Trail

    Yes Intel is going to die a death from a thousand cuts as dozens of Chip manufacturers license ARM to create their own targeted chips for specific devices. Low power consumption is the new religion. The diversity of the competition will make it difficult for Intel to compete. Low power and low heat emission will trump everything else especially in large installations.
    Malcolm in St Louis
  • There's *plenty* of room in the market for Intel and ARM-based OEM's

    Anybody hoping for a quick demise of Intel, or claiming Intel will come back and kill off ARM, needs to look at the size of the markets. Just because mobile is exploding (and it really is) doesn't mean servers, desktops, and laptops will disappear. The desktop/laptop market may slow a bit, but it will still provide Intel with tons of money.

    The server space is only continuing to grow globally and I don't see ARM and its partners coming out with any Xeon-killers any time soon; not until we start seeing massive evolution in the parallel programming space where a server with 100 ARM cores would be very beneficial when many applications are still very single-threaded by design when they're doing CPU-intensive work.

    The simple fact is that while Intel should have made better decisions to about-face the right business units and compete in the mobile market faster, they're not going anywhere and will continue to invest money to get back into that market. One generation of CPU's being rejected (and what's a generation in mobile, 6 months?) is a learning experience, not a death knell. Not to mention the R&D they're doing in SSD's/flash and everything else they have their hands in.

    On the opposite coin, I think ARM is great and I'm looking forward to see where the platform goes. They've got some really exciting stuff coming this year and on the future roadmap, and I love how low power their designs are. I love my OMAP-based Droid X, and the new Motorola Atrix and its successors may be the real future of the laptop.

    This is sort of like the commercial vs open-source fight where people take sides and prognosticate that one will defeat the other in the end, where they fail to see (usually due to fanboy-ism) that there's a need in the market for both. The reality is much less exciting: The market is massive and both companies/technologies have their places.
    • RE: Notebook Makers Passing on Intel Oak Trail

      @ryanjwh <img border="0" src="" alt="happy"> Nicely said. Short of sunlight and air, I can't think of too many things for which we humans are readily willing to accept single sourcing. We love our options. But since some folks also love arguing the idea that their option really should be the only one, I doubt such comments will disappear any time soon.
      Trep Ford
  • RE: Notebook Makers Passing on Intel Oak Trail

    Low power consumption? I laugh at your naivity and stupidity. If anything in the next 2- 5 years, people will be demanding more from their smartphones and tablets. Probably be able to play semi intensive games, watch blu-ray or dvds. ARM processors are a passing fad, why do you think both Intel AND AMD ignored them?