Intel Bay Trail-T is the next generation platform for future Intel Atom based tablets with plans to hit the market in early 2014. It comes loaded with a Quad core CPU and a DirectX 11-capable GPU, which is all housed in a 22-nm SoC code named Valley View-T – and from the leaked slides it look like ARM will be facing some pretty stiff competition.
Even though the platform won’t be released for more than a year, Intel is currently talking to its OEM partners about developing on the platform and we should officially hear about it at CES in a few months. Bay Trail is entering an ecosystem where currently SoCs based on a ARM Cortex-A15 architecture SoCs were preferred by various OEMs (Nokia, LG, ASUS, HTC) over the NVIDIA Tegra 3 platform.
Compared to its predecessor Clover Trail, Bay Trail-T is manufactured using a 22-nm process, which in addition to lower power consumption offers an increase in performance. By comparison, Clover Trail uses 32-nm and the current ARM Cortex-A15 manufactured on 28nm. Intel has experience meeting demands for their processor and they have the fabs to back it up, other players like Qualcomm and Apple aren’t in such a secure position.
The Valley View-T SoC will no longer offer hyperthreading, but rather offer an increase from 2 to 4 cores, which should offer a performance boost of 50-60%.
On paper that doesn’t actually sound very impressive but it is a signification increase when you combine it with the new 7th generation GPU, the HD 4000 based on the Ivy Bridge platorm as well as the new LPDDR3-1067 RAM. The overall performance is leagues ahead of Clover Trail but it will also put the Cortex-A15 platform to shame.
The Valley View SoC is also the first “out-of-order” based CPU in the Intel Atom and it’s based on the Silver Mont Core. It is clocked between 1.6 and 2.1GHz each with a 512KB L2 cache and of course this is Quad core with a cushy 2MB. So Intel will have caught up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro, at least when it comes to L2 cache.
The keyword word is GPU! We will be seeing the HD 4000 collection, which means that mobile HD video editing will be possible, because Intel’s QuickSync technology supports hardware acceleration. DirectX 11 is finally supported and offer game developers the ability to offer their games on this platfrom. Valley View-T will be a great choice for game developers since it also offers support for display resolutions of 2560 × 1600!
Another interesting point is that you’ve got the option to include 3D cameras. Bay Trail-T offers the possibility of a stereoscopic camera for shooting 1080p at 60fps! The big question is whether or not the feature this will ever gain popularity in tablets …
When it comes to battery life and standby time we can only speculate however Intel promises that Bay Trail-T consumes half as much power compared to its predecessor, which means that x86 tablets will easily be easily seeing 10 hours of battery life.