Intel announced that they will be ready for the release of their Clover Trail processor in the second half of 2012, which is around the same time that the Windows 8 OS is also expected to reach markets.
The new Clover Trail CPUs would take over from the Atom Z670 Oak Trail chips that have been rendering — though a not so glorious — service since last year. Obviously, one of the biggest pluses with the new Clover Trail chips is that they use less power. They are manufactured using 32nm process technology and should be able to support tablet operations for about 8-10 hours with standby times extending into weeks.
Also, while Intel isn’t coming clean with the power characteristics of the new Clover Trail chips, a definite plus with the x86 chips on the tablets is the possibility of legacy PC applications also running on such devices and the number of such apps run into millions.
Compared to this, tablets powered with ARM processor running Windows 8 would not be able to run those applications that have been written for x86 devices. Rather, it’s just those apps that are designed to run on the new Windows 8 Metro user interface that the ARM based tablets will get to play with.
Also, before the Clover Trail hits the market in the second half of 2012, Intel’s Medfield CPU’s will be ready for commercial application by Q2 2012. However, that’s just a single core processor and is suited more for application in smartphones than tablet PCs, while Clover Trails, with its dual core architecture, would be more ideal for use in a tablet device.