Intel's Braswell chip to replace Bay Trail for cheap PCs, Chromebooks

Intel's Braswell chip to replace Bay Trail for cheap PCs, Chromebooks

Summary: Unlike the 22nm Bay Trail processors, Braswell will use a 14nm manufacturing process, though no launch date has been announced.

Source: Intel

Among the various news items emanating from the Intel Developer Forum in Shenzhen, China this week comes the company's latest system-on-a-chip (SoC) being developed for entry-level computing devices. Dubbed Braswell, it will replace Bay Trail, though that platform still has life in it (more below on that).

While Bay Trail is built on the 22nm manufacturing process, Braswell, like its more powerful Broadwell sibling, will have a 14nm architecture. As is usually the case with such shrinkage, you can expect better power efficiency and a performance boost from Braswell, which will power budget desktops and laptops. It will also make use of the company's improved Iris graphics technology.

The latter category will include Chromebooks, a growing segment of the notebook market running Google's Chrome OS and usually priced under $400. Intel claims it will boost the number of Chromebook designs using its chips to 20 in 2014, up from just four in 2013. It's unclear, however, if those new designs will feature Braswell, as the company did not close an official timeline for the new platform's release.

If the new Chromebooks rely on Bay Trail, then they might pack an updated version of those chips, which Intel promises will have a steep reduction in the number of components required to produce them. That will lead to cheaper quad-core 64-bit Bay Trail processors that will be ready to ship in Android and Windows-based devices as soon as this summer. Some of these tablets might cost as little as $99, a goal Intel has long touted but yet to deliver on.

Topics: Intel, Laptops, Mobility, Processors, PCs

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  • Will the entry level Braswell SoC be 64 bit?

    Just curious.
    • I don't know

      But I don't see Intel releasing a processor with the target it is announcing and not being 64 bits.
    • I don't 'know' but,

      Haswell is 64bit and Baytrail is 64bit, so I can't see why this would be any different
  • Braswell

    This low power processor will run the full windows, which will now be free for 9 in. tablets and below. Android may well take a real hit from this, and Chromebooks might as well, though that is less likely. Still most Chromebooks are bought because they are cheap, used for a bit, then put on a shelf as people go to tablets or PCs.
  • The rise of full OS tablets

    Windows is the first of the full OS tablets but no reason other OSs cannot be coded for touch, stylus, etc. These powerful chips has the potential to change the handheld game.
    Rann Xeroxx
  • I'd go for a Chromebook at $99, and then...

    turn it into a terminal, or a slave, to be used by a more powerful desktop or laptop system. At $99, a Chromebook screen would be more useful as a monitor. Yeah, once in a very long while, I might use it for it's designed purpose, but, a $99 monitor with great graphics, would be hard to turn down.

    (And yeah, I know that what was mentioned for $99 was the cheap tablets, but, the Chromebooks technology is basically tablets in disguise).