Intel's 'Moorefield' chip aimed at small Android tablets

Codenamed Moorefield, Intel's latest 64-bit chip is expected to make a high-profile appearance at the upcoming Computex conference.

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Intel's Moorefield processor powers KDDI's LTE-capable Asus MeMO Pad. It runs Android 4.4. KDDI

Intel is now very serious about getting both its processors and LTE into tablets. And its latest 64-bit chip, codenamed Moorefield, is expected to make a high-profile appearance at the upcoming Computex conference.

Moorefield, aka the quad-core Atom Z3560/Z3580, is designed for devices 8 inches and smaller (including smartphones) and will show up in products at Computex Taipei conference starting on June 4, an Intel spokeswoman told CNET.

What makes it different than previous "Bay Trail" tablet processors that power tablets like the Lenovo ThinkPad 8? Moorefield comes in a smaller chip package (making it easier to use in 8-inch class tablets and phablets) and has better "thermals" (meaning it runs cooler), the spokeswoman said.

Maybe more importantly, it is LTE "optimized," she added. That means it includes support for Intel's XMM 7260 LTE siliconn (see graphic at bottom), which is CAT 6 capable (300 Mbps theoretical peak downlink speeds).

Intel has struggled to match LTE with its processors in tablets to date. For example, on the Windows 8.1 side of the ledger, very few tablets from top-tier device makers are offered in the US with built-in LTE.

Moorefield could change that as the KDDI MeMO Pad attests -- one of the first devices to tap Moorefield. That Android product packs the Z3580 Moorefield Atom processor and has built-in LTE.

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Quad-core Moorefield is expected to eventually replace the dual-core Merrifield. Anandtech

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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