Intel unveils Broadwell-based Llama Mountain prototype tablet

Intel President Renée James has unveiled the Broadwell chip-based Llama Mountain prototype tablet at the Computex conference in Taipei, Taiwan.

The Llama Mountain has a 12.5-inch screen and is only 0.28 inches (7.2 mm) thick, making it thinner than the iPad Air and showing just how thin full-powered computers can go. It weighs only 670 grams and has a single USB 3.1 port for charging. It can also be connected to a keyboard dock. 

The device uses Intel's 14-nanometer Broadwell processors that are built specifically for 2 in 1 computers, which will be released to the public within the year as the Intel(R) Core(TM) M processor or simply Core M.

"The majority of designs based on this new chip are expected to be fanless and deliver both a lightning-fast tablet and a razor-thin laptop," Intel said

A fanless device means that the silicon contained is very efficient in dispersing heat. The device's motherboard and sisterboard are located in opposite directions to aid in heat displacement. Adaptive performance, through which the Broadwell chip adjusts its output depending on the orientation of the tablet, also keeps the device from overheating.

"We can make the system smart so that it knows its environment and we can cool it in certain ways so you can run it at higher performance," said Intel PC Client Solution division director of marketing Gary Richman. 

Richman also adds that the motherboard of the Llama Mountain is, by far, the world's smallest full motherboard.

The Llama Mountain prototype is not for sale. However, testing of the device revealed very fast processing speeds, with programs loading almost instantly. The prototype is meant to provide OEMs with a reference point on the capabilities of the Core M processor, in terms of processing speed and size reduction by as much as half of the current 2-in-1 models out in the market today. The small size of the motherboard means that it can also eventually be developed to be used by devices that need to be placed in small spaces, such as set-top boxes and thin computers.

James said that the delivered experience of using computers is becoming more important than what the devices look like, blurring the divide between technological categories.

"Whether it's a smartphone, smart shirt, ultra-thin 2-in-1 or a new cloud service delivered to smart buildings outfitted with connected systems, together Intel and the Taiwan ecosystem have the opportunity to accelerate and deliver the value of a smart, seamlessly connected and integrated world of computing," James said.

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