Intel allegedly fighting with another atom drivers

With the distribution of atomic Z2760 tablets threat of delays, because Intel does not have a Windows driver for the new power management features of this atom to get ready in time. That reports the news agency Bloomberg. Therefore, Microsoft can not time the Atom Tablets release of the Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements. Bloomberg quoted but also an Intel spokesman, the availability of Clover Trail tablets promises simultaneously with the Windows-8-start in about three weeks.

Is known that the long-standing partnership between Microsoft and Intel got deep cracks. A clear sign of the promised "Windows-RT" tablet with ARM SoCs instead x86 processors, from those with the Microsoft Surface will even bring their own model on the market. Therefore, the x86 Tablets with the specially developed "Clover Trail" Atom Z2760 Intel most important products: As the first Android smartphones with Atom Z2460 they are to prove to the market that the x86 technology on the one hand with the power of ARM SoCs can compete and other advantages such as relatively high single-thread performance and - provides compatibility with existing x86 software - Windows.

If it actually comes to delays because of a driver problem, this is a serious setback for Intel. The nuclear history is in fact full of such mishaps. Said Intel has about several years and Atom versions taken longer than hoped, until a SoC version of the chip - namely the Z2460 aka Medfield / Penwell - finally in smartphones was used. Rained even when the drivers are problems: The purchased from Imagination Technologies PowerVR GPU, from the close relatives as well as in iPhones, found in many Android smartphones and the Windows RT chip from TI, Intel was not available for Linux (PDF file) under Windows under control. On Android, OpenGL ES and OpenVG are used. Intel originally promised for the Cedarview atom DirectX 10 compatibility, but got after several years of research so far suggests only a DirectX 9 drivers for 32-bit Windows 7. Among other things probably why Microsoft had to hang up specifically for Windows 8 is a 32-bit x86 UEFI version of the operating system, which comes exclusively on the Clover Trail tablets are used. However, the ARM SoCs for Windows RT not 64-bit compatible.

The current driver may be a problem with the new power management S0ix that come with Clover Trail first time on Windows for use. The expected 2013 core generation Haswell will support S0ix. Provide details in the Android S0ix already works as Intel employee in a paper for the 2012 Linux Symposium (PDF file). S0ix promises to drastically reduce the power consumption at rest, but the system is active, 20 by about a factor This should tablets and smartphones get by depending on battery and RAM for several weeks in a Connected Standby battery charge. For a Clover Trail Tablet with 30-watt-hour battery Intel promises 3 weeks.

Existing operating systems can not cope with S0ix by itself. Therefore, Intel provides special drivers for the Power Manager Unit (PMU). The firmware - UEFI or the Z2460 SFI - must be prepared for S0ix. Windows controls the power functions of the respective CPUs with specific drivers, or about amdppm.sys intelppm.sys. Microsoft provides this but in Windows. It happens, however, that processors require specific power management driver, at the time about the AMD processors with Cool'n'Quiet on Windows XP.

The implementation of and support for S0ix could also be the reason why Intel had said at IDF that is not the Atom Z2760 own for Linux. The authors of the aforementioned papers explain, however, Linux drivers are available in principle - but so far only for Z2480 (Android) systems with SFI and Z2460, respectively.

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