Windows 8 tablet from Samsung has Intel inside

A Samsung tablet that is expected to make an appearance at a Microsoft developers conference next week will be powered by Intel silicon, according to a source.

A Samsung tablet expected to be shown at a Microsoft conference next week will be powered by an Intel chip, according to a source familiar with the device.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 currently on the market runs the Android operating system and uses an Nvidia processor.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 currently on the market runs the Android operating system and uses an Nvidia processor. Samsung

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky is expected shows off an early version of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system running on a tablet from Samsung at the BUILD developers conference next week in Anaheim, Calif.

At least one version of the tablet being shown--and possibly distributed to some attendees--will be based on Intel silicon, said an industry source who is familiar with the device.

The fact that Intel is inside could be viewed as a surprise because many Windows 8 tablets are expected to favor competing ARM processors from suppliers like Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Nvidia--the latter is the same supplier whose chips currently power Motorola, Samsung, and Sony tablets that run Google's Android operating system.

It is not clear if other Windows 8 tablets will be shown at the conference running on ARM processors. Nvidia, for example, is expected to have a quad-core chip for tablets and smartphones ready by the end of this year.

Generally, ARM processors are more power efficient than Intel processors, thus their wide use in tablets and smartphones. But Intel is working to close the power efficiency gap. Power efficient versions of its Sandy Bridge Core i series chips will power "Ultrabook" laptops as thin as 0.6 inches--not unlike a tablet's thickness--and Intel continues to accelerate development of Atom processors, which are already relatively power efficient.

Windows 8, which is a much more tablet-friendly OS than Windows 7, will run on both Intel/AMD chips and ARM. A first for a mainstream Microsoft operating system.

Microsoft and Intel declined to comment on this story. Samsung could not be reached for comment.

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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