Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and AMD (NYSE:AMD) are eschewing Android and other Linux-based platforms for their latest tablet chips. Intel's Clover Trail system-on-a-chip (SoC) won't run Linux, and neither will AMD's Hondo. Some see the dead hand of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) at work. Others think it's just a tactical pause before next year's Bay Trail platform.
Arr, in IT Blogwatch, bloggers splice the mainbrace and hoist the moonraker. But stop doing that in the rigging...
By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.
Agam Shah is on the trail of some Atomic news:
Intel for months has stressed that the Clover Trail chip was optimized for...Windows 8. ... Hewlett-Packard, Acer and Lenovo have already announced Windows 8 tablets based on Clover Trail...20 tablet designs are in the works. ... Clover Trail tablets have been shown running Windows 8, but none have been shown running Android.
Intel earlier said it wasn't actively porting Android to...Clover Trail tablets. ... [It] plans to keep Windows 8 dedicated to Clover Trail. MORE
It's not just Intel playing this game, as Lawrence Latif notes:
AMD's Hondo APU...can be used in devices that are sleek. ... [AMD said] that the firm is focusing on Windows 8. ... Steve Belt, corporate VP of ultra low power products at AMD [said] "This is a Windows 8 product, only. ... It is a conscious decision not to go after Android.
However unlike Intel, Belt said AMD's software engineers are working on Linux support, though that doesn't necessarily mean Android. MORE
Predictably, Bruce Perens is dismissive:
Clover Trail is already a dead end for other technical and business reasons. ... Atom isn't really the right architecture for portable devices with limited power budgets. Intel has tried to address this...[but] doesn't approach ARM's power efficiency.
Why does Intel...build these losers? ... [It] doesn't offer anything new, or even anything that Intel is likely to re-use in future chips. ... Clover Trail wasn't a good bet. Ultimately, it will probably sour the Microsoft-Intel relationship.
AMD's "Hondo" [is] "Windows Only" too. Microsoft must be paying both manufacturers a lot for this. MORE
But Andrew Cunningham says the battery life ain't all that bad:
...the Clover Trail SoC is a close relative of the Medfield platform that we've seen in...smartphones like the Xolo 900—it uses the same 32nm CPU architecture...but is a dual-core...paired with a more powerful GPU...said to be comparable to Apple's A5X.
Clover Trail should enable...ten hours of battery life...in an 8.5mm thick package...[like] current 10" ARM-based tablets. ... [It has] a new system power state...dubbed "S0ix," [or] "active idle." ... System resume time is...instantaneous, wasting less power than in the transition between sleep states. MORE
Meanwhile, Preston Gralla thinks the chatter is moot anyway:
There's already evidence that Windows...tablets are going to priced at [about $700 or $800]. ... Asus's [leaked] pricing...for the holiday season...for an RT tablet is $599, for a Windows 8 tablet is $799, and a hybrid tablet/notebook is $1,299.
There's no way Microsoft can make headway against Apple [at] the same prices as iPads. [And it] will be squeezed from the bottom...given the $199 price of the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7. MORE