Intel sure seems to have started something with its Atom lineup of Windows 8.1 slates. The Atom brand prior to this was secluded in the realm of the Celeron and Pentium varieties of affordable processors.

Call it luck, or call it the Windows RT effect — there have been voices (from hardware vendors) in favor of what is being labeled as the full version of Windows — but a whole bunch of these Atom based tablets have hit the market, offering touchscreen capabilities at some very exciting prices.

Now all such tablets have so far been restricted to the 32-bit version of Windows 8.1 (or the very few devices that were based on Windows 8), but this is about to change.

Intel has announced that it will start delivering 64-bit Bay Trail solutions sometime in the first quarter of 2014, in what will be the latest refresh of the company’s Atom processors.

The company made the news official at a recent investor meeting.

CEO Brian Krzanich confirmed that the 64-bit Windows 8.1 tablet products will make use of the new Bay Trail version of the company’s low-powered Atom processor. These chips will also be utilized for 64-bit versions of Android, but these devices will hit the market after the Windows 8.1 slates.

Obviously the biggest advantage here would be amount of accessible memory. All current Windows powered Atom tablets are locked at a ceiling of 3GB or under, and the 64-bit processors should give way to devices with 4GB or more RAM.

There probably will not be too many models with 4GB or more (keeping in mind most of them are designed as affordable devices), but expect vendors to offer this expanded capacities as added options.

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