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Intel delivers Clover Trail Atom chips for Windows 8 tablets

28 Sep 2012
Intel Atom Z2760

Intel has officially unveiled its Atom Z2760 processor aimed at tablet systems, and showcased a slew of new devices running the chip that are set to launch when Microsoft's Windows 8 becomes available next month.

The Atom Z2760, codenamed Clover Trail, is built to deliver fast and responsive performance in sleek and lightweight form factors, the chipmaker said.

"This is just the beginning of Intel's effort in the tablet market, and our goal is to deliver products that fit the spectrum of evolving needs of both consumers and business users without compromising on compatibility, experience or battery life," said Erik Reid, general manager of Application Processor Platforms at Intel.

The 32nm chip brings dual-core performance to Intel's power-efficient Atom Z-Series, along with hyper-threading support for four simultaneous threads. It also includes Intel Burst Technology which allows the chip to run at clock speeds up to 1.8GHz for short periods when maximum performance is required.

As a system-on-a-chip design, the Atom Z2760 integrates many functions onto the same silicon. This includes Intel Graphics Media Accelerator functions based on the PowerVR graphics technology from Imagination Technology.

It also has integrated Image Signal Processor (ISP) support for a camera, the ability to drive an external HDMI display as well as the tablet's screen and support for sensors such as accelerometers.

For business users, the Atom Z2760 offers security features such as Secure Boot and firmware-based Intel Platform Trust Technology (PTT), Intel said.

Vendors readying Windows 8 tablets based on the new Atom chip include Dell, HP, Fujitsu, Acer and Asus.

Most of the models have already been announced by the vendors, including Dell's Latitude 10, Fujitsu's Stylistic Q702 and HP's Envy X2.

The Clover Trail platform was briefly the focus of controversy when articles surfaced claiming that the new chips would not support Linux.

As explained by V3's sister site The Inquirer, the truth is more that Intel's priorities lie in providing driver support for Windows 8 at this time.

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Daniel Robinson

Daniel Robinson is technology editor at V3, and has been working as a technology journalist for over two decades. Dan has served on a number of publications including PC Direct and enterprise news publication IT Week. Areas of coverage include desktops, laptops, smartphones, enterprise mobility, storage, networks, servers, microprocessors, virtualisation and cloud computing.

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