Shout out to Intel for Bay Trail

Shout out to Intel for Bay Trail

Summary: The Atom family of processors has long promised reasonable performance with good battery life for mobile gear. Bay Trail finally fulfills that promise by Intel.

(Image: Intel)

The Atom processor family is Intel's attempt to give OEMs a mobile processor that is gentle on the battery while delivering suitable performance. The first generation Atom fell far short of that performance goal, and subsequent iterations were not much better. Finally, the current Bay Trail generation of the Atom hits the ball out of the park.

The performance history of Atom disappointed users so consistently that every time a new iteration was announced by Intel, enthusiasm was not the reaction. A common response to each announcement was "let's wait and see how it really performs". That was the response again when Intel announced the Bay Trail update to the Atom mobile processor.

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I couldn't be happier to report that Intel has finally delivered on the promise of performance and low power requirement with Bay Trail.

My Asus Transformer Book T100 has the newest Bay Trail processor and it rocks. This tablet feels as fast as any Core processor-equipped laptop or tablet I've used with Windows 8. Everything I do on the T100 feels instantaneous, even the graphics are smooth and fast.

Intel has delivered what it's been promising for years with Atom, and it's a very noticeable jump from previous generations. Bay Trail doesn't feel like a stripped down mobile processor, it is as fast as any processor should be.

I've been quick to come down hard on Intel for its failure with earlier versions of Atom, so it's only fair I give them kudos when they get it right. The Bay Trail family of processors are mobile processors done right, and Intel should be proud for getting it done the way it should be.

I shouldn't be the only one giving Intel credit for Bay Trail. Microsoft executives should be shouting praises to Intel. Bay Trail could be the best thing for Windows tablets, as big as the Windows 8.1 update. There is now a solid platform for Windows tablets that make them economical and without performance compromises. Yes, Microsoft should be pretty darn happy now.

Topics: Mobility, Intel, Laptops, Tablets

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  • Bay Trail for laptops?

    I would like an ultraslim, low weight, fan-less laptop with a Bay Trail SoC. The laptop should have a touch screen around 15 inches. That would be a laptop that is gentle on the battery while delivering suitable performance. Manufacturing cost of such a laptop could be similar to a windows tablet with the same processor and chipset, and could therefore be sold at a reasonable prize.

    With so many OEMs, and so many different laptops models, why can't anyone make something like this?
    • They will come

      Unlike previous generations, where they were based upon the current Core- architecture, Celeron and Pentium processors will now be based on the Atom architecture - Bay Trail. These processors will be used not just in laptops, but desktops, too. They just haven't been released yet.
      • Why rename them?

        Why rename them to Celeron or Pentium? Just put a Bay Trail in a 15" laptop, that's it, basically like it was a tablet of 15".

        Fanless :-) the dream, out with opening the laptop and blowing the fan with a can of air, then rebuilding it and having spare screws :-)
        • Stronger brands

          The Pentium and Celeron names have been around for decades and are actually associated with laptops and desktops. The Atom name is mud and is associated with netbooks. Whilst I agree that there isn't much need for Pentium and Celeron to continue to exist, that's the reason.
          • Stronger brands?

            I don't know where you get your ideas from, but Celeron is synonymous with crappy cheap versions of regular chips and Pentium (at least for me) makes me think of processors from before the Core2 era, so old technology.

            Intel should have left these brands in the past where they belong.

            Maybe Intel should also have left the Atom brand behind and just go with Bay Trail or another brand (MCore for Mobile Core maybe?), but Celeron and Pentium are really bad choices.
          • They're still better than Atom.

            The Atom name has been buried within a sea of negative reputation.

            The Celeron and Pentium brand, while muddied, are still considered better than the Atom line.

            On the bright side, Celeron and Pentium sound awesome when you think about it.
        • Renaming them is a terrible idea

          A few people asked for computer advice and I told them to avoid systems with Pentium chips in them, before I realized they were baytrail chips.

          They were a bit overpriced for what they were asking, but using Pentium and Celeron is a bad choice. So was continuing to use Atom, but intel seems determined to pull a page of bad marketing ideas from Microsofts handbook.

          Baytrail is an awesome chip. Long battery and excellent performance. Game changer is what comes to mind when seeing what they can deliver.
    • Bay Trail for laptops?

      "They" have!, it is called a MacBook Air...
      • Try again.

        The MacBook Air line all has i5 processors.
        Sam Wagner
      • MacBook Air w/Bay Trail?

        I thought the MacBook Air used Haswell? Further, I thought Haswell was core-i5.
    • Shout out to Intel for Bay Trail

      display electronics gobble up more power than the cpu on almost all mobile
    • Saw a 15.6 Asus for $268 at Frys

      Couple weeks ago, dual core Bay Trail based Celeron. No touch screen.

      I'm hoping to see HP reintroduce their Chromebook 11 with one of these processors instead of the ARM chip in it now. I like the HP Chromebook IPS screen, but don't like the sluggish ARM processor (and potential ARM compatibility issues).
  • intel...

    Should have had a mobile processor ready for the release of windows 8. They did MS no favors.
    widow maker
    • Or MS could have waited

      MS could have waited until Intel's mobile processor was ready, then maybe it would have given them time to avoid some of the issues Windows 8 had basically by releasing what is now known as Windows 8.1 right from the start.
      • I agree and think the fault lies at Microsoft

        Releasing Windows8 felt rushed, double that for Windows RT.

        The operating systems really needed a strong supply of affordable touch screens as well as CPUs designed to run Windows on battery powered computers (tablets, notebooks, etc).
        • I have gone on record stating that Bay Trail will "kill" demand for WinRT

          tablets. IMO, Microsoft should just abandon the Surface 2 (with ARM). When the 64 bit Bay Trail chipset arrives in a few months, MS should have a Surface "3" ready to go with that chipset inside.

          A blind man should be able to see that the Surface Pro 2 (with Hasweli) and a Surface "3" with a 64 bit Bay Trail would be Microsoft's optimum Surface Tablet lineup.
          • Not so fast! (pun!)

            3DMark scores are showing the Tegra 4 running faster than Bay Trail.
          • bay trail isn't optimized for 3d graphics. For normal tablet use

            email, facebook, Netflix, etc. it's great. CPU wise it crushes arm, GPU wise it's adequate for low res 3d gaming. If you care that much about 3D gaming you should wait until February for baytrail-T (valleyview). 1.5-2x CPU and 3-4x GPU of baytrail. quad core and 2560×1600 and directx11. And shrink from 28nm to 22nm for power savings. The intel over arm gap is widening quickly. All oems should be dropping arm soon.
            Johnny Vegas
          • No way ARM is going to be dropped

            I am an Intel fan and an x86 fan but it is ludicrous to believe that ARM will drop off , soon or even ever. ARM is still the low-power king and it is more than adequate for tablet and cell-phone use. It doesn't have to be the fastest it just has to be good enough for the intended use. Also I suspect the unit cost of ARM is cheaper than Intel. And it is getting faster while maintaining low power. Intel is improving too but requires much better manufacturing technology to gain ground in the low power.

            And ARM has more SoC choices with various GPUs that currently outperform Intel.
          • This would be true

            If Intel could match all of the arm processors on the gpu side of things. I do think they should make a surface edition with a 64 bit bay trail processor when it's available.

            Either way, continuing windows rt will help keep the pressure on Intel to stay competitive with or surpass arm processor performances.
            Sam Wagner