Tag: widi

Intel announces Bay Trail tablet CPU: Part One

Wednesday’s IDF Keynote started by asking the audience to stand for a moment of silence in remembrance of lives lost on 9-11 in 2001. From there, it was business as usual with product hype and promises of future success.

Intel seems to be spotlighting health. It opened with a feel-good video of Jack Andraka, child prodigy and biology whiz. Andraka is a high school sophomore who won the youth achievement Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award in December 2012 for inventing a new method to detect a lethal form of pancreatic cancer.

From there, Intel moved into its theme of “The Internet of Things.” One thing that aroused curiosity was a dull white plastic wristband on every seat. It became an attention-getter later in the programme. In the meantime, everyone got a shot at the podium to talk about their pet project.

Doug Fisher, VP General Manager Software and Services Group, gave a few brief remarks, then introduced Dr. Herman Eul, VP General Manager Mobile and Communications Group. He started off with a video about MTV and Intel getting together to improve the audience’s experience because they do not really understand how wireless works, and what are its limitations.

Eul said the goal is to make the mobile platform smarter, the CPU more powerful, and the imaging performance better. He did a brief introduction of “Bay Trail,” the next-generation Atom Z3000 ,  focusing on it being used as a gaming platform. He showed that it is capable of running Windows – which is called heavy legacy software – or running Android OS, Apple OS, Chrome OS, or Linux OS. Bay Trail is a 64-bit processor, built using Intel’s Silvermont 22nm micro-architecture. There will be six variants of the chip available – with dual and quad-core configurations. Clock speeds will range from 1.8GHz to 2.4GHz.

Bay Trail’s Hardware and Software supports:  

  • Windows (32/64-bit) and/or Android and/or Chrome
  • Displays resolutions up to 2500 x 1600 (Retina display)
  • Dual independent displays
  • Intel Wireless Display (WiDi) technology
  • Up to 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM
  • USB 3, HDMI, Displayport, SD card, NFC, 4G, Wi-Fi, GPS
  • X 11, Open GL 3.0 graphics
  • Up to 13MP camera on the rear with Zero shutter lag, burst mode, digital video stabilization, 1080p recording at 60FPS and up to 2MP on the front.

Eul then brought Victoria Molina on stage, a fashion industry consultant and former executive for Ralph Lauren, Levi’s, and the Gap, who explained her virtual shopping experience application. They developed it using the Intel Android SDK in about a week  – but gave no information on the experience level of their programmers.

Molina said the most important part of this application is the fit map, an important factor in making the apparel attractive on the wearer, to attain a “cool” outcome. The application uses an avatar based around the person’s measurements, height and weight, and a facial photograph. The shopper goes out to the web site where they want to shop and chooses the clothing to virtually try on before purchasing. Next, the website pulls up sample clothing from their product lines.

After you build your ensemble of clothing, then you can adjust the clothing so the fit is tight, medium, or loose. After deciding on your look, you go through the “Cat Walk” show-n-tell process. That means the avatar is dressed with each one of the outfits in the size and drape you want and it looks like you are a model on a fashion show runway. Molina said, “This will revolutionise the online shopping experience. Because of the huge “cool factor”.

Next, Intel focused on a Bay Trail small-form-factor tablet running and editing videos. Eul invited Jerry Shen, chief executive of Asus, to introduce its T100, a 2-in-1 Bay Trail notebook with over ten hours of battery life. “We are very excited about the Bay Trail quad-core promise,” Shen said.

Asus is more optimistic than Intel regarding battery longevity. Intel claims Bay Trail tablets could weigh as little 14.1 ounces and offer more than eight hours of battery life when the users are watching high-definition video.

Neil Hand, Dell’s VP of Tablets, showed its  Venue 8-inch, Windows 8.1, Bay Trail tablet that is going to be shipping soon. He said it has 4G LTE.
Eul talked briefly about upcoming Merryfield, a 22nm SoC which is build on the Silvermont architecture specifically for smartphones. We were told that Airmont, a 14nm process engineering SoC with all the features of Bay Trail for tablets, is on schedule for Q3 2014 release.

Finally, Eul satisfied our curiosity by showing his audio DJ idea which activated those dull white plastic bracelets that were sitting on each chair. A video was projected onto the giant screens in the auditorium showing the Keynote audience and the wristbands lighting up in synch with Eul’s music.

The presentation took another turn with Kirk Skaugen, Senior VP General Manager PC Client Group at Intel which will be covered in part two.

Intel does deal with Cavium

Intel and a company called Cavium have announced a technology and marketing collaboration with the idea of peddling Intel WiDi-based products.

WiDi chips allows TVs to be connected to computers wirelessly and the collaboration between Cavium and Intel will result in WiDi compatible receivers with Cavium’s PureVu media System on a Chip.

Chipzilla spokesperson Kerry Forell said that Intel WiDi-based laptops have enjoyed a very rapid adoption in the market during the past two years.

By working with Cavium, Intel says it expects its customers to be able to offer products with a broader range of wireless display capabilities, which should translate to more choices for consumers.

Cavium’s Digital Home and Office Division Kourosh Amiri said the two companies have a cunning plan to have what he calls an immersive wireless display consumer experience. Quite why you need Wi-Fi while having a bath is anyone’s guess.

He said that the collaboration will bring together the best of what the two companies have to offer to further enhance the wireless display market, to deliver products that enable seamless content-sharing. Though we were not aware that wireless could have seams. 

LG rushes to become early WiDi adopter

LG and Intel have inked a deal to use Chipzilla’s WiDi technology in LG’s top of the range tellies, but it could struggle to see widespread adoption despite the benefits for ultrabooks.

The pair recently announced a “strategic alliance” to promote the use of Intel’s Wireless Display (WiDi) technology, which provides wireless connectivity for HD content stored in notebooks and other devices.  A recent statement announced that LG’s Cinema 3D Smart TVs would be the first to feature Intel’s wireless, clutter-reducing gear.

The internal WiDi system will mean content can be streamed directly to a TV set, or potentially to a projector or monitor, without needing miles of HDMI or VGA cables. WiDi doesn’t require any internet connection, just a WiDi enabled laptop and screen to stream content.  

On the face of it the system certainly sounds useful, with consumers increasingly accessing content on the big screen from a laptop. Despite Intel and LG’s gusto, there is not quite as much enthusiasm from other corners.

Paul Gray at DisplaySearch believes that despite the joint venture showing “some possibilities” but there are many problems in widespread adoption.  This is at least partly due to LG’s history of quickly picking and dropping projects.

“With other manufacturers you might take it more seriously,” he told TechEye, “but if you look at LG it often jumps on new technology like this, and just because they have made an announcement doesn’t mean that they will push it.”

Gray believes that there are many problems with LG and Intel’s WiDi, which has been attempted in various guises by other firms, too: “I have had reports of terrible latency problems, with a video delay of a couple of seconds, which means that it would be pretty bad for gaming,” Gray said.

Sony has also attempted similar techonology, and as Sony tend to do, it was very well developed.  However it also cost a lot and the public is not interested in spending so much money on getting rid of some wires. Basically it is incredibly expensive to do it properly.

“In this sense WiDi is not a game changer, though it will be interesting to see who manages to lead on the technology in future.  At the moment thought it has limited applications other than in business use.”

One area which Gray flags as useful is doing away with bulky and expensive socket components in laptops.

This fits in line with Intel’s Great Light Hope: the Ultrabook. Intel has already been decking out its Ultrabooks with WiDi, and it certainly makes sense with the two features that Intel is so desperate to reduce: size and, more importantly, cost.

“Intel can get rid of the outputs on its devices, and that means not having to put in expensive socket components that take up a lot of space,” Gray says.  “This could be very good for Intel.”

Dropping unneccessary baggage makes sense as Intel is betting the farm on affordable Ultrabooks. Whether LG is the right partner to bring WiDi into living rooms across the world is another question.

The WiDi-enabled LG set will be on view at CES in Lost Wages next month.