Intel has launched a new family of chips, which it has named Bay Trail, in a bid to challenge its rival ARM.

The chips are designed for use in low-power devices like tablets, using what Intel call “3D transistors”, which boost computational power but use less energy.

Intel Bay Trail Chip

This could pose a serious challenge to ARM, who currently dominte CPUs used in smartphones and tablets due to having the reputation of being more energy efficient.

Chris Green, the principal technology analyst at the Davies Murphy Group consultancy thinks that Intel can be successful with these new chips. “I actually do think they have what it takes, but it’s not going to be an overnight transition for Intel.”

“It has huge ground to make up against ARM who really still have a stranglehold on the mobile market,” he said.

“But this is a great chip on paper for Intel to mount a challenge. Certainly, the fact that it has got backing from the likes of Samsung – who we know is very enthusiastic for the prospects of this chip – I think speaks volumes for its chances in the months to come.”

Samsung had previously relied on ARM-based chips to power its Galaxy smart devices but in June, the company surprised the tech industry by announcing that the 10-inch version of its Galaxy Tab 3 tablet featured Bay Trail’s predecessor, Intel’s Clover Trail+.

Intel has said that the new quad-core chips double the computing performance and treble the graphic performance of Clover Trail+. It also introduces Burst Technology 2.0, which  varies which parts of the chip receive the most power to maximise performance but without breaching temperature limits.

Bay Trail can support both Android and the full Windows 8 operating systems, so manufacturers can offer hybrid tablets that can swap between the two.

“I would argue ARM should be very worried,” said Mr Green. “Intel has started to wake up and realise they were about to lose this race which is why they have really put their foot down and come back with some interesting products.”

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SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24052911