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Oct
28
2013

What to Expect in 2014 for Laptops and Tablets: Tegra, Broadwell, IGZO and Bay Trail

What to Expect in 2014: Laptops and Tablets

Most of us remember when laptops were huge chunky pieces of equipment that had terrible battery life. Nowadays, many laptops have become so thin that they can fit inside envelopes. With the power of mobile chips increasing exponentially, the rise of powerful laptops and tablets has never been greater. Check out what you can expect to see in laptops and tablets in 2014.

Intel Atom Bay Trail

Intel’s Atom chips have always been ridiculed, however, with the Bay Trail chips Intel may be able to redeem itself. The beauty of Bay Trail is that they operate on x86 and are supported by both Windows and Android devices. With Intel being the underdog for most of the tablet market, Bay Trail should help fix that by competing with many of the ARM chips. Compared to the last generation of Atom chips, the new chips now feature Intel HD graphics, support up to 2560x1600 resolutions, come in dual-core and quad-core designs and are built on the 22nm manufacturing process.

keyboard docks and a variety of other accessories that utilize the Bay Trail chip. Current benchmarks show it beating the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro and Tegra 4 in Geek Bench and GUIMark benchmarks. Price range wise, Intel is suggesting that Bay Trail tablets and devices will remain in the $199-$599 price range while Haswell and Broadwell devices will range from $599-$999+.

Intel Broadwell

Although Broadwell is still based on the Haswell microarchitecture, it promises even more battery savings than what Haswell brought. Many of us were spoiled when manufactures told us that battery life would be increased by 2-3 hours with the new Haswell CPUs. With Broadwell, expect the same thing. Battery life will be improved greatly mainly due to the new 14nm manufacturing process. Intel itself has stated that it will bring over 30% improvements in the power consumption department. This means that gaming laptops will finally be something you can take anywhere. You can also expect integrated graphics to be improved.

Early manufacturing defects have currently halted the production of the chips. Production is expected to be ramped up in the first quarter of 2014 and you can expect to see computers with the CPU in the second half of next year.

IGZO Displays

One of the most power hungry components in laptops and tablets today are the displays. IGZO aims to fix that problem and promises much greater battery life. IGZO is the technology that implements a transparent semiconductor that allows transistors to be even smaller. IGZO displays are also much more clearer than their predecessors and are able to achieve higher resolutions. Battery savings are expected to be in the 80%-90% range.

Although these displays are already in production, they have not seen much widespread attention. Sharp, the primary manufacturer for IGZO displays has been demoing 15.6” 4k displays for laptops. The production for this display is set for February 2014 so we can expect to see devices utilizing it by Q3-Q4 of next year when supplies reach the demand.

Nvidia Tegra 5

Tegra 5, code-named project Logan, will be the first Tegra chip that features CUDA support. It will based on a Kepler GPU and has support for OpenGL 4.3. This will allow the next generation Tegra to have more power while achieving better battery life. All this is done on a SoC with a 2-3W TDP. The Tegra 5 is expected to be as powerful as a PlayStation 3 and should appear in devices relatively soon. Tegra might even come to the level of mid-range gaming computers.Just how good will the graphics performance be? See for yourself. The end of consoles may be coming sooner than you think.

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