For the last few weeks Piednoel, who is Chipzilla’s Senior Performance Analyst has been teaching Taiwanese manufacturers the secret which is so simple it will even make last year’s Atom processors look good.
Francois says that it is all about the pure maths of user experience. Intel has been building models that match how a user is going to react to the responsiveness and smoothness of touch interface gestures.
He said Apple was the only one who had figured out these things so far and Intel wants everyone in Taiwan churning out gear that does the same thing.
Firstly the pad must always yield to the user. If you keep a finger on the screen of an iPad or iPhone and try to force a notification the device will wait until you raise your finger before it stops you.
Intel has specifically been training manufacturers on is the ability to shortcut OS bottlenecks for benefits in UI and power consumption.
A click gesture on Windows 7 requires 50 million instructions to be performed, however Chipzilla has got that down to 15,000. With 3000x savings on basic interactions the software starts to get out of the way of delivering smooth, responsive UI.
Piednoel said that people are only happy when their gear is running 60 frames per second. Before the iPad came along people would tell you that 30 frames were good enough.
He was showing off an optimised Atom tablet from last year, and running on top of Windows wth a 60fps gesture interface.
Gizmodo had to admit that to do that on a clunky chip like last year’s Atom was really good and with Oak Trail on the way, it can only get better.
Sadly Apple’s success is nothing to do with the technology. Jobs would have flogged the iPad even if it was steam powered, thanks to his marketing machine and the religion he has created around his products.
However, if Intel gets cheaper Taiwanese tablets behaving like expensive iPads then it could make the difference between Android and Apple moot. We don’t think we will ever see the day that a creature called an Intel fanboy emerges from the primordial swamp to tell us that a story which failed to praise x86 enough was really bad and we should not call ourselves journalists.