Intel shows off fanless PCs, new phones, $100 tablets and wearables at IDF

Intel revealed a slew of new products at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco as part of its strategy to "put our tech in every segment of computing".
Written by Nick Heath, Contributor

Intel today showed off new products it hopes will break it into the phone, tablet and ultra-low power computing markets.

Heading the slew of new product reveals at the Intel Developer Forum keynote in San Francisco today was Intel's first fanless ultrabook, a more efficient and performant ultrabook based on Intel's 14nm Broadwell CPU core, prototype wearable computers and a new ultra-low power system on a chip (SoC) targeted at the Internet of Things market. Intel also detailed its plans for more efficient and powerful Intel phone handsets supporting LTE.

"Our strategy is very simple. Our plan is to lead in every segment of computing," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich.

Krzanich showed a Intel Core Haswell-Y based ultrabook that because of its low-power consumption, it has an SDP of 4.5W, can run fanlessly. Core i3, i5 and i7 processors will be available in a fanless configuration, he said.

Despite Intel only releasing Haswell-based PCs and tablets very recently this year Krzanich showed a working ultrabook based on the architecture that will succeed Haswell, Broadwell. Krzanich said the first Broadwell processors will ship by the end of this year and be available in products next year. Broadwell shrinks the die-size of Haswell to 14nm, offering what Krzanich said is a "30 percent power improvement" and performance gains over ultrabooks running a Haswell-class Core processor.

For tablets, more than 20 Android and Windows 8 tablets based Intel's new Bay Trail Atom SoC will be on sale by the US holiday season, with prices ranging to below $100, he said. Bay Trail tablets will enjoy better performance and battery life than current Intel Clover Trail and Clover Trail+-based tablets thanks to Bay Trail's new Silvermont CPU microarchitecture and the platform being manufactured to a 22nm process using 3D Tri-Gate transistors.

For the phone market Krzanich showed a handset based on a 22nm SoC that will provide "a 50 percent performance" gain and longer battery life over current Intel-based smartphones.

Intel also detailed its plans for shipping celluar baseband chips that support LTE for phone handsets. Chips supporting voice over 3G and data over LTE are already shipping, said Krzanich, with systems supporting voice and data LTE shipping next year.

Also coming next year will be Intel baseband chips that support LTE with carrier aggregation, which will allow data to be downloaded at a rate of more than 150Mbps by the time they ship, he said.

Intel also showed some of its work on wearables, with Krzanich showing a watch and a bracelet based on Intel hardware. Intel is working on reference designs for Intel platforms that could be built into wearables, he said.

A new ultra-low power SoC was also revealed by Krzanich, targeted at the Internet of Things, wearables and traditional embedded computing market.

The Quark is a new family of SoCs and Intel's smallest SoC platform to date. Quark chips are one fifth of the size of Atom microprocessor, he said, and run at one tenth the power.

Third parties will be able to adapt the platform to implement their own intellectual property into the SoCs, he said, adding it "will have a standard fabric you can attach your IP to.

"If you have sensors, algorithms, accelerators you can do that and get it manufactured with Intel.". However Intel currently doesn't intend for the Quark to be manufactured outside of Intel's fabs, he said.

Intel president Renee James also took to the stage to talk about Intel's future chip plans, detailing its plans to move to a 10nm manufacturing process in 2015, and 7nm in 2017.

James said that ubiquitous wearable computing would "transform every area of our life" – showing off a prototype Amc10 silicon-based patch that sits on a person's skin and sends EKG and other health readings back to a doctor.

These sort of developments, and the ability to sequence a person's genome within weeks and for $1,000 will lead to an era of "personalised healthcare", she said.

ZDNet attended IDF as a guest of Intel

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