Intel’s 12.5-inch Llama Mountain Windows tablet is thinner than the iPad Air
Intel is really pushing its mobile processors and reference designs at Computex Taipei this year. Remember Intel really has to put this effort in, to win OEM smartphone and tablet product designs in the face of the competition from UK chipmaker ARM whose licensed designs dominate the mobile device processor industry.
In order to show manufacturing partners what the latest Intel mobile processors can be used for it has manufactured an incredibly thin tablet reference design amusingly codenamed Llama Mountain. The 2-in-1 12.5-inch screened tablet with keyboard dock example shown off by Intel at Computex ran Windows 8.1 on its Intel Core M ‘Broadwell’ 14nm processor but could also run the Android or Chrome OS if manufacturers felt that way inclined.
Due to the Core M’s design the motherboard can be extremely small and it requires no active cooling (such as a fan) to keep it running smoothly. The Llama Mountain tablet could therefore be very thin – the reference design presented was just 7.2mm thick which is slimmer than an Apple iPad Air and most smartphones. The tablet, without keyboard dock, is also relatively light, weighing just 670g. This Llama Mountain could also boast very impressive battery life of 32 hours, thanks to the space around the reference design’s mainboard being used for battery compartments.
Interestingly Intel has built a performance adaptive feature into the Llama Mountain where as a tablet the system runs cool and efficiently but when docked in computer mode on mains power it can be boosted for higher performance. For instance the dock/keyboard unit could contain extra power and some further cooling facility allowing the Core M to ramp up.
Intel is looking for partners to make Llama Mountain inspired devices and from its presentation we know that there is already one unnamed company committed to using the tech in an upcoming product. I like the look of this reference design, let’s hope the technology isn’t so pricy as to make it inaccessible to the wider market.