updated 03:30 pm EDT, Tue September 10, 2013
Chips focus on small size, efficiency
Following on the heels of smartwatch introductions by Qualcomm and Samsung, Intel has announced a new processor family for wearable devices and other small gadgets. Known as Quark, the chip lineup is designed to continue shrinking component size and lowering power consumption compared to the components used in smartphones and tablets.
Speaking at the company's Developer Forum, CEO Brian Krzanich highlighted bracelets as one focal point for potential Quark development. The company is said to be already collaborating with partners to create reference designs to show off the upcoming technology.
The recent focus on wearable devices has not distracted Intel from its ongoing work in the mobile segment, where the company is still attempting to gain traction. The new chief executive also demonstrated a smartphone platform integrating the company's latest LTE modem and its next-generation Atom 'Merrifield' SoC that will arrive in devices next year.
In the near term, the company is set to move forward with its 'Bay Trail' 22nm SoC for mobile devices. The chips are said to be ideally suited for convertible devices, such as Windows tablets that double as notebooks, though the chips will also be outfitted in smartphones and basic Android tablets.
"The next wave of computing is still being defined," Krzanich said. "Wearable computers and sophisticated sensors and robotics are only some of the initial applications."