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Intel processors coming to tablets, smartphones in 2011

Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced this week that Intel chips will be powering 35 tablet computers by the end of 2011. Otellini was speaking at the Barclays Capital 2010 Global Technology Conference.

Intel listed 15 different brands of tablets that would be containing chips from the company including devices from Dell, Toshiba,  Acer, Asus, and Motion Computing. During the address, Otellini said Intel would be supporting all “viable operating systems in the marketplace” specifically naming Windows, Android (both Honeycomb and Froyo), and MeeGo.

Two versions of Intel’s Atom processors are going to deployed across the tablets: one codenamed Oak Trail and the other Moorestown. Oak Trail is Intel’s more PC-friendly chip that will offer high compatibility with peripheral devices. The Moorestown processor will be inside the more lightweight, mobile machines, but won’t be as compatible with PC-peripherals.

A report by the New York Times confirms Intel is getting serious about tablets. According to the article, Intel is preparing to launch a new business department dedicated to tablet and netbook development. The division will be run by Intel’s Douglas Davis, who is currently in charge of the company’s embedded communications division.

“Netbook shipments will be heading north of 100 million and we’ll all soon find out what kind of market potential there is for tablets and these increasingly popular hybrid designs,” an Intel spokesman was quoted in the Times. “It makes sense for us to sharpen our focus on these friends of the PC, and Doug’s experience running a similar and very successful embedded division makes him the right guy to lead the group.”

During the Barclays conference, Intel was slightly less enthusiastic about the prospects for smartphones. Otellini said the smartphone venture is “a marathon, not a sprint.” He went on to reveal that Intel’s smartphone processor is currently in the customer sampling stage and should begin popping up in smartphones during the second half of 2011 and into 2012.

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