Intel's Bay Trail silicon promises significant performance increase for tablets

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Faster performance for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets is always a plus - assuming battery life doesn't suffer as a result.

Intel recently offered up some more details about its upcoming x86 Bay Trail chips that Santa Clara specifically designed for tablets and other impressively thin devices.

According to Intel, the new platform offer twice the performance of the current Clover Trail  silicon. Bay Trail - which facilitates the design of tablets as thin as 0.3-inches - will be the first Atom processor to feature Intel HD 4000 graphics. Meaning, in addition to supporting full HD resolution content, tablets equipped with Bay Trail silicon should be up to some moderate 3D gaming.

And what about battery life, you ask? Well, while Intel hasn't offered any specific runtimes for baseline hardware, it has promised that tablets using Bay Trail will be able to run all day and maintain power in standby mode for weeks.

The power sipping nature of the new parts, despite improved performance, comes courtesy of Intel moving to a more efficient 22nm architecture for Bay Trail. These new processors will feature a quad-core architecture, which will be a first for the Atom family.

These processes are also appealing because they bring tablet manufacturers some the benefits of the low-power ARM architecture, yet Bay Trail parts are x86 and support full-fledged versions of Windows 8.

The new processors are slated to be available by late 2013.