Intel talks tablet strategyAt CES, Erik Reid, general manager of Intel's tablet business, discusses the chipmaker's tablet strategy, with a renewed emphasis on Android running on Bay Trail chips.
-You're doing now at Intel? -I'm the general manager for our tablet business unit so responsible for all-I'm sorry-responsible for all of our tablet business engagements with our customers and driving Intel to be successful in tablets. -Yeah. So what does Android mean to Intel now in 2014? There's a lot of-you know-I saw the dual-boot-the switching tablet downstairs. A lot of good thing with that. How important is-are tablets like that to Intel? -Android is gonna be hugely important to us on tablets. You see, everybody sees where-how much traction's down in the marketplace. We're doing all our development work on Windows-based tablets as well as Android-based tablets. We're giving our customers a choice whether they want Windows on the machine, they want Android on that same machine, or they want to have the dual-boot option. We're getting customer requests. -How many dual boot-Do you have any idea, any sense from the customers for how many dual-boot devices are coming out in 2014? I know the [unk] is-both in '11 and '13, but that's all I heard of so far. -There's a few coming out. A lot of customers are looking at it and exploring it. What we really think is an advantage is with the x86's architecture we can support Android or Windows or both on the same machine. It gives customers a choice and flexibility. -Okay. But the enticement of a dual-boot and switching really is not the boot choice, which- -It really is switching [unk] just right in. -Three-it's like three or four seconds. -Yes. -That seems to be the really new thing- -Yes. -as far as-So, I understand that Intel is [unk] so-but you think that it's more than just [unk] obviously. You think there is [unk] OEMs coming out with dual-boot-switching tablets like that in- -Yeah. I expect to see some others coming out in the course of the year. And again, they are exploring-they are trying to understand the opportunities in the usage models. So really, I think most of the machines that you'll see in the market are gonna be Android-specific or Windows-specific, but you'll certainly see a few experiments that are dual or allows some variety. -Do you have any idea how those tablets work, by the way, how they share memory, or anything like that? I mean- -We do. -Okay. -What do you think we're a technical one? I'd love to have a conversation with you. A lot of guys can go through like, how do you manage memory between the machines, how do you accelerate switching time between the two operating systems-it's pretty cool. -And the switching part, is that in the silicon actually? Or is that in a soft-is it strictly software? -It's software really. Or it could be driven by a hard key, but there's-it's-you have to have the base silicon support to enable that. -Okay. And that silicon support is in Haswell, of course. -Uh huh. -Is it in-is it in Bay Trail? -It's actually in any Intel associate-or any Intel processors, so with the x86 architecture we can support Windows or Android on any of those machines. -Okay. And one question that's always been in my mind. Since, you know, this-Bay Trail [unk] should say, is-so Haswell is also very attractive. For example, I have a Surface Pro 2- -Sure. -that has Haswell inside. So do you have it-So are you sensing any shift, maybe a little bit of shift towards Haswell or a more of, you know, a more welcoming attitude towards Haswell than maybe before? -No. I think people are really excited about Haswell. It's a great product. It gives you an incredibly increased battery life relative to where you are in Ivy Bridge and graphics performance is significantly increased with Ivy Bridge graphics. But it says-if you look at the tablet market next year-or it's like this year-it's probably 280 million units. The PC market is well north of 200 mil units. Well, the market that size, you're gonna have people that are gonna wanna biased towards great performance and that PC-like experience. Haswell is the perfect product for that, and you're gonna have a lot of people who are gonna want the thinnest, lightest core factor with the longest possible battery life and Bay Trail is the perfect solution for that. So I think the market is big enough for these architectures to coexist and really giving people a choice about what they want. -Okay. Intel stated-now, I was just asking-Was it a target of forty million this year for tablet units? Is that stated [unk]? -What I believe Brian said in the analysis report is a 4x increase between the tablet units year on year relative to where you are. -So that comes to roughly forty million? -We're saying 4x. We'll let the analysts do the math on that. -And- -What I think it really says is that Intel is making a real dent in the tablet marketplace, and it's a reflection in our confidence in our architecture that we're actually bringing to market and the great partnership we have with our OEM customers. -But then it has something to do with Android too, right? In fact, the Android-yeah-'cause that's such a huge mobile OS. -Sure. It's about great Windows-tablets [unk], great Android devices where you have Android in 7 and 8-inch and 10-inch devices. So absolutely, we're gonna rush every part of the market that we can. You want every operating system [unk] on Intel architecture. -Okay. And finally, looking forward to Broadwell and what's the next-what comes after Bay Trail is? -I talked about Cherry Trail, which is- -Cherry first? -14-nanometer [unk]. -And is that coming out this year? -Yeah. Yeah. We talked about production in 2014 and we're not gonna get more specific after launching- -Okay. -at this time. -Broadwell is coming this year, later, in the second half, right? -Broadwell is starting for the second half, second half. -Okay. Great. Thank you very much for your time.