My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Intel showcases Dual-Core Z2760 Atom Processor, codenamed Clover Trail” for Win 8 – End of Watch for PC Makers who must get into the Tablet Game

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Intel showcases Dual-Core Z2760 Atom Processor, codenamed Clover Trail” for Win 8 – End of Watch for PC Makers who must get into the Tablet Game

Intel has decided to stop sitting on the sidelines and instead has now decided to debut their latest Tablet-centric Processor offering, the Dual-Core Z2760, codenamed “Clover Trail” Processor as reported in the article “Intel and partners may be late to the Tablet party, but they're here”, published September 27, 2012 10:26 AM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News. But it may not be enough and in fact may even be too little too late.

This new Low-voltage, Low-Power Processor is for hardware makers Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung and ZTE and is geared towards compatibility with the new Touch Centric Windows 8. Good to note at this point that none of these companies, with the exception of Asus-Tek of South Korea, are yet to debut a solid Tablet Strategy and make headway in the Tablet Market.

Interestingly too, it seems that Intel’s Press launch on Thursday September 27th 2012AD may actually be a response to the Microsoft Surface Tablets impending launch coming up in Friday October 26th 2012AD as noted in my blog article entitled “Microsoft debuts Windows 8 with new Surface Tablets - PixelSense rebranding as the Dark Knight Rises to defeat PC World”. The Microsoft Surface Tablet got their attention, PC Makers!

The new Intel Processor comes choc full of nice features and support for:

1.      10 hours of local HD video playback
2.      3 weeks of standby time
3.      Near Field Communication (NFC) for Mobile Phone Payments
4.      Support for HD cameras (up to 8MP)
5.      Wireless Broadband Technologies such as Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G LTE

Aside from the barnyard farm themed codename, the only thing nice and warm about this new processor, the Dual Core Z2760, is that it’s really a much improved version of the Single-Core Atom Processor used in Netbooks as stated in the article “Wave of Intel dual-core Netbooks to break”, published August 23, 2010 10:53 AM PDT by Brooke Crothers, CNET News.

These slow speed Intel Processors hastened the early death of Netbooks back in 2010AD, the same year when the Apple iPad made its debut. This made them so blessedly slow and their small screens made them easy targets for the debutante Apple iPad as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad and the future of Mobile Computing”.

The Netbooks extinction is now confirmed in 2011AD the following year as recorded faithfully in my blog article entitled “Raspberry Pi US$25 computer coming in November 2011AD - Post PC Survival and PC Revolution for the Masses”.

Attempts by other Tablet makers in 2011AD did not fare very well as can be seen from the articles that marked their appearance and eventual death:

Motorola Zoom running Google Android Honeycomb

HP Slate, HP TouchPad running WebOS

“White Box” Generic Android Tablets

In  2011AD, the Apple iPad 2 made its debut, putting more pressure on the PC makers, for whom Extinction was looking very real as pointed out in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 2 and PC future - Doomsday in the Battlefield” with the death of the Netbook a year Earlier.

All thanks to a developing addiction among users to Electronics gadgets with better battery life of 10hrs, quieter operation using SSD (Solid State Drive) and faster boot-up times as declared in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad, PC Makers and Battery Life - Lost in Space and The AppleByte”. The same tech behind the success of the Apple Macbook Air as noted in my Geezam blog article entitled “MacBook Air and FLASH-based Harddrives - The Quest for Instant On”.

The only success story in the nascent Tablet World had been Asus, mainly because they had chose to focus on making their Asus Transformer Tablet using GPU (Graphic Processors Units) using Nvidia Tegra 2 and eventually Nvidia’s Quad-Core Tegra 3 codenamed “Kal-El” as reported in my Geezam blog article entitled “Nvidia and the Quad-Core Kal-El CPU – Android leaves A5 Dual-Core Processor in the Dust” and built them immediately dockable with a keyboard they themselves designed.

This choice of Nvidia marked out the Asus Transformer as a great Gaming Rig Tablet, which unintentionally (or intentionally?) has endeared it to Gaming Fans as noted in my blog article entitled “Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime to debut on November 9 2011AD - Nvidia Kal-El invites Apple iPad to Game On” whose fan base in the US rival that of Hollywood in terms of money spend on Gaming titles.

But more importantly, Asus has committed to changing out their entire Laptop designs and going completely with the Asus Transformer Dockable Keyboard design running on different Platforms including Windows 8 as stated in my blog article entitled “Asus Transformer vs Apple iPad 2 - X-Men First Class for Ludacris' Numba' One Spot”.

Truly, South Korean Asus has the might of the Asian Tiger and strength in numbers behind them as noted in my blog article entitled “Asus Transformer & Asian Tablets vs Apple iPad - Vybz Kartel's Straight Jeans & Fitted Big Trouble in Little China

With this partnership with Nvidia and their Work-centric design, Asus endorsement of Intel’s Dual-Core Processors will make them even better.  This as it will help to cement the idea of their Asus Transformer line of Tablets being great for Work now powered for Nvidia Quad-Core Google Android Ice Cream compatible and Play with Intel Dual-Core Windows 8 compatible Processors afterwards.

But back to Intel and their struggles…….

This time for Intel it’s not a bid to get PC makers to make Ultrabooks as was the case back in May 2011AD as recorded faithfully in my blog article entitled “Intel and the UltraBook - Stephen King's MacBook and iPad Thinner Hex”.

In fact, Ultrabooks are pretty much dead based on the revised sales forecast of analyst IHS iSuppli, which the analyst blames squarely on poor Marketing to distinguish them from Ultrathin Laptops. In other words, people are shying away from purchasing Ultrabooks as they appear to be merely ultrathin versions of Laptops that previously had bad battery life and non of the great features of a Apple MacBook Air.

The PC Makers are also focusing too heavily on higher pricing margins instead of making their money from an App Store as stated in the article “Remember ultrabooks? Yeah, no one else does either”, published October 1, 2012 10:13 AM PD by Shara Tibken, CNET.

However, a focus on remedying these problems can result in good sales, says IHS iSupply, quote: “Challenges stemming from the nebulous marketing and unappealing price surrounding the ultrabook can be overcome, paving the way for shipments to rise by more than 300 percent in 2013.”

In their desperation, however, Intel is rehashing the Atom rather than deal directly with the pricing and Marketing problems of the still-not-so-clearly-defined Ultrabooks, choosing to rehash the Atom Processors, but with Dual-Core trim and fittings, with the above-mentioned advantages.

But will it be enough for Intel to make a comeback in the Tablet World as the PC World goes bust?

Tablets currently are not only heralding the Death of the PC but also Printing as concluded in my blog article entitled “HP to make Tablets that run on Windows 8 – Resident Evil Retribution for Printing” and Console Gaming as noted in my Geezam Blog article entitled “Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds”.

The Apple iPad 3, which launched on Wednesday March 7th 2012AD, continues to rule the Tablet World with its long battery life, zippiness and its very robust iOS Platform, iTunes, App World and features to bedazzle the most Apple-phoebe of people as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 3 sports Retina Display, LTE and Bluetooth - Internet of Things heralds Pointer Sisters Automatic”.

Still with the Christmas Success story of the Amazon Kindle Fire, Apple may have to genuinely consider making the much rumoured 7” Tablet to capture the growing e-reader/Tablet market at that size as suggested in my blog article entitled “Apple iPad 3 Launch on March 2012 - Amazon Kindle Fire is a Sweet Dream but a Beautiful Nightmare for Apple”.

This as Amazon has not only gone HD with multiple 7” and 8.9” Tablets, but has struck close to Retina Display and screen size with a strategy that takes aim at the Apple iPads pricy-ness with a slant towards lower price point and higher quality as my blog article entitled “Amazon launches a pair of Kindle Fire 2 - ACS-Xerox Call Centers in Jamaica ramp up as Kindle Fire begin to Sparkle” suggests.

And mentioning Tablets cannot be done without mentioning the thus-far successful 7” Google Nexus 7 Tablet, the alleged Tablet Slayer running the Google Android 4.0 aka Jellybean as stated in my blog article entitled “Google Nexus 7 Tablet to upgrade to 3G or LTE - Google Nexus 7 is a ParaNorman Bladerunner to kill the Amazon Kindle Fire 2”.

Truth be told, their real focus should be on making Tablet-centric versions of the Sandy Bridge and the Ivy Bridge Processors as described in my blog article entitled “Intel & Poison Ivy Bridge Processors - 22nm in an Iso-Linear of Their Own” that are Quad-Core for Tablets, as Nvidia has done.

I wish I could be optimistic, but I cannot see any good coming out of introducing a revamped Dual-Core Z2760 Atom Processor when the Gaming World, the last World yet to be fully conquered by the Apple iPad, has gone Quad-Core.

Even if the Amazon Kindle Fire HD Tablets are sporting Dual Core Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 Processor in the 1.2 Gb/s and 1.75 Gb/s clock speed, the trend is now firmly toward Gaming Centric Tablets which speaks to the coming of more efficient designs for Quad-Core GPU for Tablets.

Worse, the Apple iPad 4, coming next year 2013AD, may go Quad-Core with 4G LTE support, taking its cue from the recently launched Apple iPhone 5 as stated in the article “Apple takes wraps off iPhone 5, 4-inch screen and all”, published September 12, 2012 10:15 AM PDT by Don Reisinger, CNET News.

This Intel event, in my mind, is the End of Watch (2012) for Intel and PC Makers, who need to get their strategies together and get their head in the Tablet game……or lose their heads to the Apple iPad.

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