Intel: Lenovo Android phone now, Windows 8 tablet later

Intel is demonstrating a Windows 8 tablet at CES that uses its future Clover Trail Atom processor--which will be Intel's platform for Windows 8 tablets.

LAS VEGAS--Don't think Lenovo Android phones are the end-game for Intel. The chipmaker is already showing off its next-generation tablet technology for Windows 8 at CES.

The tablet (see video) uses the Clover Trail Atom chip, due in the second half of this year. Clover Trail is Intel's platform for Windows 8 tablets--also due in the second half.

That chip distinguishes itself from the Medfield chip--which is inside Lenovo's and Motorola's upcoming smartphones--by adding another processing core (Medfield is single core) and improving the graphics engine.

Clover Trail will, of course, also power future Android tablets--which Intel is demoing running Android Ice Cream Sandwich on the CES show floor--but Windows 8 tablets on Intel have special importance.

Intel is betting that Windows-8-on-ARM (WoA) will be late and buggy. Which is not completely improble considering that a mainstream Windows operating system has not run on an ARM chip before. ARM chips suppliers include Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia.

Note that the Intel Clover Trail demo unit was encased in glass and Intel was not doing a live demonstration.

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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