If you thought competition among tablet manufacturers was fierce, then double it for the processors that actually power those devices. Apple is using its own A5 chipset for the iPad 2, while rivals are choosing between processors such as and family. Now Intel is roaring back into the game with its Z760 -- the processor formerly known as Oak Trail.
The new processor will make its debut in devices this May, Intel told Boy Genius Report, and it claims more than 35 "tablet and hybrid" designs will be using it, from companies including Evolve III, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Motion Computing, Razer and Viliv. They'll be using various operating systems on top of the processor, including , and Windows 7.
As you'd expect, Intel is making big claims for its new processor to persuade more manufacturers to adopt it. The company says it packs mean skills for video playback, Internet browsing and Flash, all while preserving battery life -- a live issue for tablets looking to go head to head with the iPad 2's 10-hour juice time.
The Z760 is also 60 per cent smaller than previous Intel processors, apparently, with the marvellously named Intel Enhanced Deeper Sleep technology ensuring it saves more power when you're not using a device. We're still waiting to see which devices will be using it -- and scanning the list of companies named above, wondering how many of these tablets will come to the UK.
Intel is already beavering away on the follow-up to the Z760 though, continuing the forestry theme by codenaming it Cedar Trail. That's expected to find its way into mobiles and desktop PCs in the second half of this year, with beefed-up 1080p video playback, HDMI output support and the Intel Wireless Music technology.
Oh, and Blu-ray 2.0 support, but we're guessing that won't be a feature finding its way into tablets anytime soon. Although you never know...