According to CNET, Intel’s preparing its next generation of ultra-lower power CPUs, codenamed “Clover Trail,” in time to launch a slew of Windows 8 tablets in mid to late 2012. Clover Trail is a successor to the also as-yet-unreleased Medfield chip, which should be the first Intel chip with low enough power consumption to compete directly with ARM-based processors like the Nvidia Tegra, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and TI OMAP series.
Though devices based Medfield may appear in phones and some tablets first, that chip will only come in single-core flavors while Clover Trail will have two cores, making it more competitive with the Nvidia, which already has a quad-core chip on the market, and Qualcomm, which has announced its intent to launch quad core chips in 2012. Intel also has its new line of “Ivy Bridge” PC processors due this spring, but CNET does not expect these higher-power chips to be used in Windows 8 tablets, though they could appear in convertibles.
Digitimes reports that Acer and Lenovo will be among the first vendors to release Windows 8 tablets based on Clover Trail and that these will hit the market in Q3 of this year.