Intel Showcases Quark And Bay Trail Processors At San Francisco IDF

Boy, hand it to Intel to give some creative names to its solutions. This time, however, the name is more quirky than creative, as the chip giant showed off some new processors at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The company had quite a bit to showcase during its keynote speech yesterday.

As expected, Intel gave the public its first look at its upcoming new chips, including a tiny new one custom made for wearable computers. For traditional PC fans, the first notebook powered by the upcoming Broadwell microarchitecture was also on show.

And so were some Bay Trail tablet solutions.

The small chip in question is called Quark. And according to the company’s press release, is designed for extremely low power hardware products — think smartwatches and glasses. The company said that it plans to begin sampling the chip via form-factor reference boards in the fourth quarter of 2013.

But this much is sure that the company wants to dive head first into wearable computing this time, unlike mobile computing where it become a bit of a bystander as the tablet and smartphone revolution was taking place and other companies took the lead.

Brian Krzanich, the Intel CEO, also gave the first public demonstration of a future Windows 8.1 notebook made by HP during the keynote. This laptop utilizes the company’s 14nm Broadwell architecture, which is the successor to Haswell and promises better performance and even longer battery life.

Broadwell is on track to enter full production by the end of 2013.

Also on display was the next Atom processor from Intel, codenamed Bay Trail. The company expects this next generation Atom processor to start powering tablets later this year.

And 2014 will bring the next version of the Atom chip, codenamed Airmont. This is set to use the same 14nm manufacturing process that Broadwell is built upon. All in all, the next couple of years promise a lot for computing in general and Windows devices in particular.