Lenovo is weeks away from rolling out the K900 which is the first device to feature Intel’s latest Smartphone processor, Clover Trail +. The new processor comes with a few significant changes over its predacessor, Clover Trail, the main feature being a 3X improvement in graphics. However, it seems that this generation of Clover Trail tablets will be the last as Clover Trail + is headed stricktly to Smartphones.
At IDF Beijing Shreekant (Ticky) Thakkar Intel Fellow, Director, Platform Architecture, Mobile & Communications Group held a session entitled Technology Insight: Intel Atom Microarchitecture for Tablets and Smartphones. During the Q&A he was asked if Clover Trail + will be headed to Tablets, he answered:
Afterwards I asked him for more detail and it seems there isn’t enough room in Intel’s roadmap for two platforms that support tablets. Back at CES in January Intel officially announced it’s new low power platform, Bay Trail. Here at IDF Beijing we learned about Bay Trail M for mobile devices which is specifically aimed at tablets and clamshell devices and Bay Trail D for desktop.
I asked Thakkar if there was any technical reason Clover Trail + wasn’t heading to tablets, his response indicated that with Bay Trail bringing products to market for holiday season 2013 it would be too many new platform iterations for their partners to refresh. Which makes perfect sense, Clover Trail + is not following the same release schedule as Bay Trail, so there would be too many new processors on the market too quick whch would annoy consumers who would have just picked up a device.
We’ll have to see if this marketing position pays off, Doug Fisher was clear in his Day 1 Keynote that Smartphones and Tablets were for consumption, Ultrabooks were for content creation and deatchables/convertibles were the best of both worlds. Clover Trail placed Smartphones and Tablets neatly under the same processor name, and now by the end of this year that will all be over.
There are still very few details on Bay Trail, what we do know is that it should offer 2X the preformance of the current generation of Clover Trail tablets. Bay Trail will be the first Atom processors to feature Intel HD 4000 graphics. So this is a significant step forward compared to what we’ve currently got on the market. Here at IDF Beijing we got to check out an ASUS prototype running Bay Trail, if you want to learn more, please check out our Intel Bay Trail Prototype Hands on & HD Video Demo.
This news reflects a lot of what IDF Beijing has been about for me, discovering the marketing position of Intel’s new products. We’ve heard about many of the features of Ultrabooks, Haswell and Atom since the Fall IDF. Connected Stand by for Ultrabooks has a new nick name with Always On Data. Ultrabooks are now forging a new category with convertibles and detachables which come with a tag line of 2 for 1, a notebook with a tablet for free.
The most valuable information that I took away from the session was about how connected stand by works on Clover Trail with Windows 8. If you want to hear it for your self the session will be posted on the IDF Beijing website over the next few days.