Fortune tellers working for the market outfit iSuppli are predicting that Intel will do very well with its Oak Trail chip.
The chip, which is Chipzilla's push into something tablety, will do well in what iSuppli claims is an “unstoppable in the sizzling tablet market, led by Apple Inc.’s bestselling iPad,” It claims that PC growth is limited but there is a “panoramic expansion landscape for tablet devices”. Global PC shipments in 2011 are forecasted to rise by 12.5 percent from 2010 and by 11.3 percent in 2012 compared to 2011. Tablets, in comparison, will surge by a mighty 197.7 percent in 2011 and by 57.4 percent in 2012, iSuppli claims.
Isuppli claims that the market is dominated by Apple and its ARM-based A4 microprocessor, and Intel’s foray into tablet devices represents a realisation by the chip titan that it needs to enter this space in order to remain competitive.
“With Oak Trail, Intel hopes to make some much-needed headway into the tablet market, even though the microprocessor is not scheduled to begin shipping until early 2011,” iSuppli said.
First announced by Intel in June this year—two months after Apple launched the iPad,—Oak Trail is a System On a Chip (SOC) designed exclusively for tablets. It will consume as much half the power than previous processors from the company and also will offer full high-definition video. More important, Oak Trail will work on three operating system platforms—Android from Google, Windows 7 from Microsoft and MeeGo from Nokia—potentially expanding the universe of tablet devices in which the Intel processor might be used.
Matt Wilkins, principal analyst for compute platforms at iSuppli, believes Oak Trail’s compatibility with the various operating systems stemmed out of Intel’s frustration at seeing the iPad selling millions of units—figures that any company, Intel included, would have welcomed gladly.
“Intel is smart,” Wilkins said. ”The company knows perfectly well that the media tablet market is being defined right now. And if the company doesn’t become a player immediately, its prospects of getting into the market in the future will only grow dimmer.”